Tag Archives: Amish

Don’t Stuff it Away – Deal with It

The sad news is that this is way too common. A School Shooting. It was October 2006, a lone male adult walked into single room school house in Lancaster, PA. The school house was for the Amish community. No security, no metal detectors, no anything. Before the man killed himself, he had shot 10 young girls, 5 of which became fatalities.

All across America, emotions erupted in anger, brokenness, sadness, and even just apathy. One can imagine the tears and the shouts that erupted – globally. But there was another emotion – surprise. A surprise that turned to inspiration, For you see, the Amish community, even the families of the wounded and lost, showed … Forgiveness.

Even before the whole story was reported, some of the offended families reached out to care, to show compassion, to hug the family of the shooter. The community did not let bitterness take root but; thus based on the Biblical standard of being forgiven, they carried the principle to the end result, and they showed forgiveness.

They didn’t ignore the grief. They didn’t tolerate the sin. They didn’t bury the act in their minds and turn to just cope. They proactively reached out to show love, compassion and tenderness. Yes they cried. Yes they mourned. Yes they acted Biblically.

Too often we, and by we, I am even referring to those as myself who strive to be living by a Biblical worldview … too often we hold bitterness, resentment, unresolved anger within ourselves and we seek revenge, at least just to get even. But more than get even, we do the Sean Connery, Untouchables, philosophy – we bring a gun to a knife fight – we think we need to go bigger and badder.

But that is not the standard that is healthy for us. That is not the Biblical response. Now, be warned, the Biblical response is not easy. It is not what the world would emphasize.

300 years ago, a reformed pastor wrote a work that included a discussion on forgiveness. This discussion, steeped deep in scripture, gave seven characteristics of forgiveness …

Thomas Watson

WOW – tough stuff. But rewarding stuff.

Let me close with one underlining principle, we do this for just one reason and one reason only – because we were first forgiven. When you realize the depth of what Jesus did for you, for me, in spite of our wickedness (more like our disgustingness in our depravity) … when you realize the depth of His love, wow, why wouldn’t we show forgiveness to others. (for reference, read Matthew 18)

Cup Holders in an Amish Buggy

It was a beautiful Saturday morning. One of my church members wanted me to go with him to the country and visit some Amish folks. So, we climbed into his big diesel pickup and headed out towards Charlotte Courthouse. We saw a few buggies, he showed me around, and pointed out schoolhouses, specific crops being grown, and told me some interesting factoids about Amish. The landscape was picturesque and it was calm and peaceful. I kind of thought of Green Acres TV show, one phone in the community and lots of fields and horses and cattle.

It was a joy as we blessed a family with some items that most of us take for granted. I attempted a bit of my grad school German, but I got a crooked smile as he tried to figure out what I was attempting to say. My friend wanted to buy some hay bales but the Amish farmer wouldn’t let him … said they weren’t seasoned yet. I don’t know “farm” so I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it was refreshing for his honesty and transparency.

As I went online to explore the history of Virginia Amish, I came across a quirky tidbit. Amish buggies are a bit more surprising than I gave them credit. (See here for the the article that launched this thought). Each community kind of sets their own standards (lights, colored of hazard sign, etc.) so not every community is the same. Here are some of my discoveries …

  • You can have some add-ons, some luxury items – speedometer, cup holders, even a heater.
  • You can get windshield wipers, mud flaps, and fog lights.
  • Many bodies are now fiberglass with aluminum fittings. Wood is used for trim.
  • Some buggies have the same brake system as dune-buggies (disc brakes). A Popular Mechanics article said they knew of an Amish man who since the 60s has gone through car junk yards in search VW braking systems to put on buggies.
  • Some buggies have flashing lights powered by specific type of batteries.
  • Average cost is 8,000 but luxury ones go up to about 10K. Banks don’t know how to finance buggies, for their are no real buggy titles. I did find buggies for sale on eBay for about a thousand … what a deal. (Horse not included)
  • This cost doesn’t count the almost 2K for each horse.
  • Most buggies go about 20 to 30 years before a major overhaul. And the lifetime of a buggy can exceed half a century.

Why this thread? I just found it interesting. And if you got this far into the article, I guess you did too.

I am just waiting for the day I see a buggy going through a Starbucks drive through.

Have a great day.