Bee's Hive

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reviewing Amish Grace

Tonight the made for TV movie aired. I decided to watch it in case our Lancaster Friend, Amos, asked how bad it was. Recently he expressed to us how up set he was when he read about the movie in the Lancaster papers.

It was clear they spent no money on getting advice on the Lancaster Amish. How wrong to think when you see one Amish guy, you've seen them all.

Much of the dress and buggies came from the Ohio Amish. I'll start with the Amish men & boys. I had to laugh at the men's hats with the brims bent up like a cowboy hat. The Amish hat has a FLAT brim. You would never see the skin of an Amish man through his shirt because they wear a white tee shirt under their shirts for modesty. The shirts have collars and are in many colors except for the Sunday shirt. I went on many weekly shopping trips to thrift stores with the Amish women who bought up every plain colored shirt in the stores for their husbands and male children.

Little girls wear many colors of dresses which are covered with an A line apron, usually black or grey and always white on Sundays. The dresses do not have a yoke which is gathered below it. They use an A line pattern for less bulk. They had the children dressed in drab colors and ill fitting dresses and aprons. The Lancaster Amish wear the colors found in their quilts, purples, rose, deep gold, royal blue.

The ladies also wear colored dresses and wear either a bibbed black apron or half apron. The Prayer cap was from Lancaster, but they do not tie it. The cap strings are worn long and pushed behind their shoulders. They don't wear the prayer cap to bed! It is placed in a tupperware container to keep it clean when it's not being worn. The women do not hand wash clothing in a tub with a scrub board. The Amish in Lancaster are not so far behind, they even use cell phones outside the house.

The Lancaster buggies are built like a box with a flat bottom. Ohio buggies are easy to pick out because the front and back bottom is cut in the shape of a V, they are black while the Lancaster buggie is gray trimmed in black .

They seem to have gotten their facts from the book written by the local Mennonite neighbors. Of course, this was not a made for TV event so they added drama to the story while missing what really happened. Large donations were sent to a local bank by everyone. The Amish chose to give half of the money to the wife of the shooter and use half to pay the hospital bills for the children who were shot. Unlike the Mennonites who made a profit on this event, the Amish continue to pay the medical bills for these children, some who will always need medical care. They do it with grace among themselves.

You would never find shouting and screaming among the Amish and certainly not in public. At NO time did ANY of the Amish mothers want to leave the order. Yes, there was a lot of crying, at home away from the prying eyes of the public. They are people like you and I who had feelings of anger just like any parent would in that situation. But, their faith didn't allow them to hold onto it.

The only thing they did get right was the message. The Amish hand over their anger and saddness to God. He is the one who will judge, not they. I learned this first hand when I first arrived in Lancaster. My own son was killed in Philadelphia. After a year of struggling with the grief and anger and the trial of the man who killed him, I left Philadelphia looking for some peace of heart because my own bitterness was killing me. We moved into the farmette of Daniel & Katie Beiler. Katie soon taught me to hand over my anger to God and use my time to do his work.

The sad part of this movie is drumming up the event for profit. From the very first minutes after the girls were shot they did everything in their power to keep it private. I can't even imagine why the local mennonites who are suppose to share the same values would expose these gentle people by writing a book for profit.

There are things missing from this story that would tell just how forgiving these parents are, but they are private and known only by those who were invited into the homes. The short time benefit you would get from knowing these things would just not be worth telling when it would violate a friendship.

I have one more thing to add after talking this over with friends. The Amish do not bury from a Funeral Home. What has to be done by law is done at one but then the body is delivered home where the women wash and dress their loved one. They are viewed from the home. The scene where the Amish mother meets the Killers wife on the steps of the Funeral Home just didn't happen.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Amish Grace, a disappointment to the Amish

I can't help but wonder why anyone would take a subject like children being shot down as a money maker for TV movies, but to do it to the Amish is beyond imagination. What is even more unsettling is that it was given up to the movie makers by the mennonite neighbors of this Amish Community.

I have only seen the coming attractions advertised on TV but my first impression was the shouting by the Amish woman who acts as one of the mothers of a lost child. I lived among the Lancaster, Pa. Amish for a long time. In fact, I lived in one of their houses. No Amish woman would ever carry on or shout at her husband or Bishop. No matter how hard life is they go about it in a gentle quiet manner, talking out issues among family members and with their church family.

I have seen them handle an entire family being wiped out when a car ran into a buggy, so gentle they handle grief, trusting in God to guide them to do his work and putting the loss and anguish in his hands.

If you watch this movie I hope you realize this was not made with the help of the Amish. The Amish families of this community were clear from the beginning that they wanted to treat this privately, out of the eyes of the public.

Notice in the article I am about to post that no money is going to the Amish or to the children who continue to live with injuries from this event. To violate the Amish in this way surely came through greed. Those who walked through their doors to comfort them took away that "good" by opening the doors for the TV to violate their privacy. I am so saddened by this. They are my friends and were my neighbors. Peace be with them as they deal with yet another attack on their private lives.