16  G E N E R . S TA R K On a Sunday I heard the reading. Usually my mind wandered and I dreamed of new worlds or new and exciting tasks. On that particular Sunday, I heard the Old Testament reading. It was Genesis 12:1–3: “The LORD said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” God had always seemed far from me, I had felt little urge to pursue Him; I was young and there was time enough to seek God. On that day He spoke to me in an initial and tentative way. The message was one I was ready to hear, even if it was only the beginning of a new path. The church bells pealed in a special way that day. It was as if they called especially to me. That week Adolf told me in an excited voice, “Many Germans are going to America; finding new jobs, settling land, and finding freedom.” Somehow these words meshed with what I had heard at church on Sunday. Having great respect for my father, I spoke to him. “Father, what do you really think of America?” I asked that evening, as we sat near the fire after dinner. “What is there for Germans?” his stoic eyes pierced my very soul. “Land, jobs, freedom; I still believe this.” “You have a job here; someday you will own the business, there is a future here,” he seemed now to plead with me. “A future of making rugs. It seems so ordinary, and the coun- try is in constant turmoil. What if they just take our business?” “We will be all right,” he only sighed. I held my tongue, went off to bed; dreamed of so much more than what was here. I don’t know what cried out to me in those days of indecision. The homeland in constant change and tur-