Through Amish tragedy comes grace…
In a small town in Northwestern Pennsylvania lives a community of Old World Order Amish. Their lives are simple and clean and filled with compassion and love for their neighbors. They live a private life far away from technology and the hustle and bustle of modern society. Even though their existence is quiet by nature, they still face the trauma and disappointments of everyday life. They live and die, they mourn and celebrate, they love the Lord, and they marry and raise their children praying they will have a desire to remain connected to their Amish roots.
Even a life surrounded by that kind of tranquility, tragedy happens.
While most of us are agonizing over politics, life is different for one young Amish woman and her five small children. Before I go on, I know tragedy like this happens in our society as well, but what we don’t see is communities coming together to help raise and support a widow and her children like the Amish do.
The following story was told by a friend of mine, Susan Short Hougelman who owns and operates Simple Life Tours in New Wilmington, PA. Susan respects her Amish friends and the relationship she has with the families in her community. Through her tours, she had met, made friends, and been able to see first-hand how Mark 12:31; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” is put into practice every day in an Amish community.
Story told by Susan,
Last week, a young Amish man named Steven Yoder was killed in a mill accident here in New Wilmington, Pa. Steven left behind a wife named Mary, and five children under the age of 13, and one on the way. I asked my Amish friend Teena what would happen to the family. “How will they financially make it, since the Amish do not carry insurance?” Teena answered, “The church will take care of them.” The church, in an Old World Order Amish group, is the entire community. “We are the church! We will all pitch in and help her until her sons are grown and can financially support her. If everybody gives a little, she will have a lot.”
Today, I stopped by Teena’s, and she asked me what the weather is supposed to be like on Saturday. I said it was going to be cool, but dry. Teena said, “Good because at least ten teams of men are going to Mary’s house to plow her fields, winterize her home and barn, get her a winter’s supply of coal (to heat her home) and wood (for her to cook with). The women are all going to cook and bake to help feed the men, who are taking care of Mary’s farm, and bring food for Mary to have all winter long. I’m glad it will be nice for them.”
This is a community.
This is the church.
When there is a need, it is taken care of. Not by a few, but by all.
Lord help us to be a better community and a better church.
Let our eyes see the needs. Let our ears hear the cries. Let our hands pitch in to do the dirty work. Many hands do light work.
We all need each other.
As I write this, it is Saturday, the day that Amish community is coming together to help support that woman and her children. My heart is filled with hope that anyone that is reading this will be as touched as I am. We can learn so much about grace by just watching the actions if this small community. They aren’t helping that woman to have favor in God’s eyes, they are helping that woman because it’s what God instructed us to do.
What can we do? We can close our eyes and say a prayer that we can come together and support our fellow man in their time of need, just like the Amish do. And while you’re at it, please say a pray of thanks to all the families that are giving up their Saturday to help this woman and her children.
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