Amish Forgiveness

In light of the recent killings of female students at an Amish school in Pennsylvania, you would expect outrage and anger directed to the killer. That would be the normal reaction. As a father of two children, I cannot say I would be as godly and composed as the families of the slain girls, and the Amish community as a whole, have been.

In a society where we are quick to judgment, and more quick to place blame, the Amish community is not reacting with outrage, but with peace. They insist that the girls are in Heaven--better off than those left behind.

To top it off, the Amish community has been in full support of the family of the man who did this horrendous act. Even more bizarre, the Amish community has offered forgiveness to that family, even going as far as to say that they wished the family would be able to stay in the community and that they would find the support and friendship from the Amish.

Gertrude Huntington, a Michigan researcher and expert on children in Amish society, predicted the Amish will be very forgiving of the killer and his family, noting that "judgment is in God's hands: 'Judge not, that ye be not judged."

The grandfather of two of the dead girls was asked if he had forgiven the gunman, in which he responded "In my heart, yes," he said, explaining it was "through God's help."

I do not know about you, but I am in awe of the reaction of the Amish. While some may taunt them for being behind the times by having no telephones or automobiles, this is a group who truly emulates Christ in their actions in the face of peril and deep sadness. How many of us could lose a child, under any circumstances, and rest in the fact that everything happens for good to those who obey and believe in Christ Jesus.

How many of us could forgive?


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