My husband and I visited the Amish one day. We had no idea how to get to them nor what our intentions were upon meeting them. Neither of us had even spoken about the Amish before. We both buckled-up and drove 2 hours away from home letting God guide us. Feeling compelled to go, but having no sense of direction, my husband kept asking me along the way how and where and why we were going. I did not know the answers, and he continued to drive. We let a horse and buggy in front of us upon reaching a small town that we heard some Amish lived in. I told my husband to follow the buggy, which he did, and we stopped at the horse watering hole that it had stopped at. The young man seemed baffled to be hearing us speak (probably a little to do with our bewilderment about why we were there). We told him we felt compelled to speak with someone from his community. We felt like they would listen, like the Amish would talk about God and Christ like no one else we could find.
The young man did not recognize much of our english, but he told us about a road to look for so that we would be able to hopefully find someone to talk to. We drove around and stopped a couple of times at different Amish houses before being directed to the elder. The elder man greeted us curiously once we knocked on his door. He asked why the Amish man that we spoke to down the street couldn’t help us. We told him that he directed us his way, and the elder readily let us in his home. He and his wife were very curious about us just as we were about them. We spoke about our life and the Lord for over 6 hours. We laughed and cried together. It was so serene and peaceful. It was so welcoming. They spoke about their hardships, about a son who left their community. We spoke about our way of living. How we are trying desperately to disconnect from worldly things.
They had a small ‘shop’ outside their home that ‘English’ people could come to and purchase things from them that they made. The elder showed us around his property, and invited us to sit with him in his tiny ‘shop’ after being inside his house for hours. Everyone in the Amish community has a purpose. The young girls were labeling canned preserves. The young boys were rounding up the horses. Another child was playing with a huge monkey wrench on the front porch. More children were picking up fallen pecans from the pecan tree. Some were chasing the chickens. The sound of horse hooves on pavement was very mellowing. Different people from the community were stopping by while we were there to talk to the elder. They spoke in German to each other, but the elder would translate for us to let us know what was going on. It was as if time did not exist there. It seemed that these people do not toil about, worrying about what to do next, or being impatient & bored. They just lived.
Every religion has its negatives, but I believe the Amish are desperately holding on to their deeply steeped tradition in this world that would love to make them convert. I worry for their way of life. I worry and pray for the innocence of their children to stay pure. I cannot even describe the beauty that I saw in their sweet souls. I worry because the elders will be gone one day.
I’m not sure they understand the impact of allowing the youth to go into society to shop. Images pervert a person even if the person does not immediately realise it. There is a reason God warns us to not do certain things. The reason is because those things tarnish us. Those things dim our light. I recently watched a documentary about Amish culture. All of the people who left the Amish did so after seeing their appearance in a photograph for the first time (Amish do not use mirrors or photography, these photographs were taken by the person making the documentary). It was like a well placed snare of Satan. It was heartbreaking to watch. I have heard people talk about the Amish – usually they say derogatory things. American society would think it is abusive to have children working the way the Amish do. The children help with the farms, and help their family. They do not run about with electronic devices, but rather play in the dirt and trees. I think it is abusive that American society let children look upon pornographic imagery that is all over TV and media. The front covers of magazines at every checkout isle. Modesty, humility, and the Word of God seem to be a foundation that the Amish society is centered around.
I know that no religious practice is perfect, but I truly believe the Amish are desperately clinging to a way of life that keeps them humble & God-centered. The two beautiful people we met are our penpals now. It is amazing to feel the love and warmth of their culture through their letters. I pray that modern times do not force these people to change their way of life. I pray that the generations to come after the elders are gone will continue to respect and adhere to the ordinances of the Bible. If a reformation of their culture is to happen, I pray that it will be to better their strict rules and way of life to be even more centered on God, and less centered on trivial things. I believe that through the ages it is important for religions to check-up on themselves. Time has a way of solidifying ideologies that may not be God’s will, but more man’s tradition. We must all be sure to conituously grow in the Lord, and prevent ourselves from doing anything that will hinder that growth.