A few days ago, one of my FB friends posted a comment on the Whoopie Pie Book Club group (a lively group of Amish-loving enthusiasts..and I invite all of you to join it–click that link if you’d like to!). Someone had posted a request for suggestions of books to read. The out-pouring of suggestions was amazing…and all different. Whoever posted the question certainly has a summer full of reading ahead of them.
Helen responded with an observation (and I might have the exact wording wrong): Look how reading Amish fiction has impacted our lives.
That simple sentence really floored me. Look how reading Amish fiction has impacted our lives. It was a simple statement…but deep. It took me a minute to clear my mind of the dozens of thoughts that flooded through it. Indeed, how has Amish fiction impacted my life? Let me count the ways…
To begin with, reading Amish fiction led me to start writing Amish fiction. And writing Amish fiction has presented me with amazing opportunities to meet, mingle, and live among the Amish. In doing so, I have found a tight connection with my own Anabaptists roots as well as newfound faith that I suspect will help me through the years ahead.
Perhaps the better question is how HASN’T Amish fiction impacted my life?
Without Amish fiction, would have I such a strong relationship with my Amish friends? Would I have such a strong faith? I often wonder about that. When I’m on the farms or staying at the house I share with an Amish woman, I feel such a connection with my past and with God. There is a peacefulness that I gain when I’m canning meat or making meadow tea. There is a large taste of humility when I attend church services or fellowship dinners.
It is a good life out there among the Amish. I’ve been blessed with having small dosages of exposure, more than most people will ever get. It’s a shame because I think more dosages of the Amish might do the world a lot of good. I find that I become a better person when I’m among them and I do take some of that back home with me (although not as much as I’d like).
So, how has Amish fiction impacted my life? In hindsight, I’d say that it has helped to define who I am and who I want to be. Without the Amish and without Amish fiction, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. To every author that is out there, thank you for your continued commitment to impact the lives of our readers. We are making a difference and, for some of you, you already have made a difference in my own life. I hope I’ve made a difference in some of yours.