Need a quick word-picture for somebody or some group that’s out-of-touch, antique, slightly weird, and definitely not with it? You can’t do better than “Amish.”
You can already picture the scene somewhere in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, can’t you? Men walking behind a horse-drawn plow with suspenders, broad-brimmed hats, always with a beard but never a mustache. Women with long skirts, aprons, bonnets, and not a button in sight. Kids in straw hats who know about farm chores but who have no idea who “The Simpsons” are. As you read this on your computer, how can you resist feeling at least a little culturally superior?
You probably remember what happened in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 2006. A milk truck driver named Charles Carl Roberts entered an Amish schoolhouse, tied up and then shot ten little girls, killing five of them before turning the gun on himself. Four of the girls are back in school, though needing some rehab. The fifth is permanently wheel-chair-bound, unable to speak or feed herself.
Now here’s the amazing part. The community took some of the money that was sent by well-wishers and gave it to the gunman’s widow, Marie Roberts.
Maybe the Amish are missing out on “Survivor” and “Lost.” They are probably not much interested in the NFL. But they seem to have grasped Jesus’ words about forgiveness. They’re my heroes today.