I live in Amish country. It’s a fact I take for granted most of the time. I’ve become pretty adept at making a quick wide swing around a black buggy as it hugs the shoulder of the state highway near our home. And I don’t even notice the patches of “leavings” that show up in the grocery store parking lot or on streets around our courthouse square — except to carefully step around them. I’m used to seeing bonnet-wearing women at the library and horse-drawn plows in local farm fields, little boys with suspenders and grown men with chin whiskers.
My Amish neighbors choose a lifestyle void of modern conveniences. Without electricity, they heat and light their homes with kerosene and hand-wash clothing with a gas-fueled wringer washer. On any given day without rain, a colorful array of dresses and shirts will be strung on a clothesline outside white frame Amish homes. My husband does business with many Amish tradesmen and farmers and considers them to be hard-working, honest and industrious. He respects them as men who care about their families and honor their religious convictions, just as he does.
I have a few Amish acquaintances but no close Amish friends, a fact that saddens me because I think maybe we would have more in common than our outward appearances would indicate. I know from my study of their culture and faith that we share a belief in God, in Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for our sins, in baptism and in the promise of eternal life for those who believe.
Driving down a local highway recently, I pulled to the edge of a corn field. Harvest has begun here, and the stalks in this corn field have been cut with a binder and stacked upright in “shocks” to dry.
The corn shocks are a reminder to me that while we may look different on the outside, while we might do things differently, according to our heritage or our beliefs, we have the same purpose and the same calling — to be one in Christ. Read more daily posts from others in the 31 Day Blogging Challenge by clicking on my button.