Friday, December 11, 2009

Amish Christmas Dinner, part 2

If you missed part one of our Amish Christmas dinner, please see the last post.

Today I’d like to share how I shocked myself when I discovered some preconceived ideas I’d had about the Amish. With each discovery, I wondered where I’d picked up such foolish notions as…

I was surprised to see the children playing with modern toys and books. I must’ve assumed they played only with handmade, faceless fabric dolls and miniature wooden pony carts!

Several Amish men and women participated in our crazy gift exchange, laughing as heartily as we when one of them received a “car vac” (when he had the chance to exchange it, he quickly traded for a flashlight). How embarrassing to realize I’d thought they rarely laughed.

I noticed half a dozen store bought greeting cards taped onto the glass doors of the hutch, most of them for “Mother” or “Mom.” I suppose I thought Amish hand-fashioned all their cards, or didn’t give cards at all.

A book or two written by an “English” author nestled on the shelf among the Amish books and German Bible. I had imagined they read only books written by Amish authors. This discovery surprised and delighted me the most.

What did not surprise me? Their gentle demeanor, deep humility, and respect for others. These kind, loving people who wear only plain colors and won’t pose for photos live what they believe. Their hearts are bowed down in reverence for God and His ways. They live to serve the Master, not their own desires or vanities.

Although I differ with them in many ways, I admire their modest attitudes. And if you could see the love gleaming in their eyes when they kiss the top of their baby’s downy head, you’d understand as I did—we are the same in our hearts.

Have you ever shocked yourself by realizing you posessed a preconceived idea about someone?


  1. "Their hearts are bowed down in reverence for God and His ways. They live to serve the Master, not their own desires or vanities." Oh that we could all live this way, right? I really do think there is something about living in the depths of culture and our modern things that often steals the reverance and focus of hearts on the Lord.

  2. Honestly this is a culture I know little to nothing about. But with all cultures people preceive things that often times are not so.

    I'm so glad that God judges the heart, and allows us glimpses into the hearts of those we think we know so we can "know" them the way God does.

  3. Oh, I am so good at prejudging. After all, a family saying, "You only get one chance to make a first impression," kinda colors our view.

    Like the reminder, Jeanette.

    Oh, this is SUCH a great blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. We all make judgment calls without full knowledge of different culture. I'm glad to have my eyes opened a little.

    We have an Amish community not far from here. Really nice people.

  5. Yes, I've done that. God always finds a way to pry open my eyes to the Truth and bends me to my knees in humility.

    I loved reading about the respect factor. I miss that in our culture.
    ~ Wendy

  6. Just as you all said, the Lord used this four hours of my selfish, narrow life to open my eyes a little wider, allowing me to glimpse His glory in the hearts of those I judged out of step with Him. I was wrong.

  7. Makes me wonder how many pre-concieved notions we have even with our loved ones if we can have these ideas with complete strangers! :O)

  8. I've definitely pre-judged. I always assumed my dad was a liberal because he's a bar owner, biker and pro-abortion.
    Imagine my pleasant delight to discover he was a republican! LOL It was embarrassing though.

    I would've been surprised the cards and the flashlight too. LOL!

  9. My husband and I went to "Amish Acres" in Indiana a few years ago. It was one of my favorite trips. I, too, love the sweet way they have of living and the beauty of simplicity. I guess I did have preconceived ideas, because we were told otherwise at the place we stayed.

  10. Yes, absolutely. I do prejudge--especially without even knowing it. God has a wonderful way of humbling me, though. :)

  11. After I divorced from an abusive marriage I prayed that God would send me the man of my dreams. I told God that my list included a tall, dark and handsome man.

    Guess who He sent?...A slightly bald, curly red headed man! I told God that couldn't be the man I dreamed of.

    Long story...short...I ended up married to that curly, red headed man for almost 17 years and our marriage was more than I ever dreamed possible!

    So I was shocked to find out the preconceived idea of my dream man was not at all who he ended up to be!

  12. Jeanette:
    We all pre-judge. We know we shouldn't but we do. I know people who really can't say they know who I am on the inside. We sometimes tend to us a set of ideas to form opinions about who others are.

  13. Preconceived ideas, all the time. Like when our Bible class served food at a homeless center, and I talked with one family--medical bills wiped them out of house and home. Humbling....

  14. Hi Jen -

    I was surprised to see an Amish couple shopping at...Walmart. Seeing Amish kids walking home from school carrying igloo coolers instead of a tin pail made me do a double take.

    Susan :)

  15. I am so glad you had a pleasant experience.


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