Photo Credit: Dixie Durbin
Doubt sees the obstacle, faith sees the way
Doubt sees the darkest night, faith sees the day.
Amish Proverb on Faith
The words grace, peace, and simplicity come to mind when I look at this picture above, taken on a local Amish farm in Southern Indiana, this picture represents to me the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle, on this particular day several of the Amish from nearby farms have gathered as the sun comes up to help Sarah and John build an addition on to their farmhouse, Sarah and John’s son has come from Pennsylvania to help out as well and will stay with the family for at least a couple of months, the house is full of children and woman cooking meals while the men and boys are outside helping build the addition.
The family is the most important social unit in Amish culture and as the children grow they learn from a very early age about life on the farm. Just as in English culture, there is nothing easy about farming, it is never ending, sore backs, callused hands, sun up to sun down kind of work. Amish farming is very similar to the way our ancestors did long ago, by horse-drawn plows and hay balers, not by the number of horsepower under the hood of a tractor, it’s in the power of the horse and the commands of its owner.
When I think in terms of the Amish lifestyle, I think in reference to a much simpler time, for part of my childhood I lived on a farm, and while we had modern conveniences the work was the same, the process to achieve the work is what is the difference but even then I feel our life was much more simplistic back then than in today society, everything is done at the speed of fiber optics these days, we are so connected to our devices and electronics we almost disconnect from each other.
In a community of people who cherish the family, look to children as a gift from God welcoming them with great joy, who also take care of their elderly by staying a family unit well into their golden years, I can’t help but feel that these God fearing, God loving, peaceful living people have the right idea about life, and being a connected community, where grace and forgiveness are the norms and not the exception.
The buggies in this picture could well be a Sunday morning, church host for Sarah and John, instead of a building raising, there is just something so simple and serene about it, living authentically and peacefully is just a way of life for the Amish, we English can learn a lot from their lifestyle of grace and simplicity.
The following scriptures remind me of our fellow Amish communities, their faith may be no greater than ours but their trust in God and for His provision is a matter of fact as it comes, there is no question that God provides for their every need, in Matthew 6:25-27, this scripture reminds us of how God provides for all of our needs
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
and Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. it is a reminder to us English folks that we certainly need to live much simpler and content lives, to disconnect to reconnect with one another.
Heavenly Father, help us to learn to be content in all things, especially in a world that goes at the speed of light, help us to connect with one another and to be authentic in our relationships, to trust you for all things and in all things. We are a world community of people, help us to show one another grace, love and when it calls for it forgiveness. Lord, help us all to live authentically, in your name we pray this, Amen.
Saved To Serve,