I lived amongst the Amish for 3 summers in my late teens. Up in the heart of the Mission Valley. I grew up so to speak in St. Ignatius in what I consider God’s Country. My experiences living amongst them taught me valuable lessons that I have carried over to me in many aspects of my life. Primarily in times of dealing with crisis, or when I feel like I’ve been hurt, or wrongfully treated. I learned what forgiveness really was a few years after I had already moved on to another journey in my life.
The Secret of Forgiveness
The Amish School Shooting at the Nickel Mines School in Lancaster, PA happened a few years ago in 2006. At the time of the incident I was out of the country. I wasn’t following American news at the time and was in an airport dealing with a crisis of my own. I picked up People Magazine and the Amish were all over the cover. I knew something was out of the ordinary. The Amish would have never liked to be front and center in the news media. It’s just not there way.
The shooting taught many people about forgiveness and reconciliation. The shooting allowed the Amish to be a witness in society in a time where our country, and our culture was wrought and saturated with the concept of vengeance and revenge in a post 911 world.
The Secret of Living
Today with our economic problems, our healthcare crisis, our financial system in a state of disrepair, and our mortgage meltdowns the Amish people again are a clear and present witness to a simpler life based around community, relational living, with an emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation with the rest of mankind.
The Amish here in Montana aren’t out proselytizing converts. But a few times a year you can get a very public glimpse of them at Auctions around the state. One in Rexford, and another in St. Ignatius.
Take heart and realize that the secret to living is something they live out day in and day out. Simple living, minimalism, and loving your neighbors brings much more happiness than getting stuck in the grind of the American Dream.