Your article titled ” Effects of school shootings touch ACU students” was excellent, along with the three sidenotes. I am Pennsylvania Dutch on my mother’s side and grew up in Lancaster County, Pa. I know the area well because my mother has been a tour guide/historian for the county for over 30 years.
My 24-year-old daughter, Wendy, currently lives there as well. My mother knows many Amish personally, and I was even able to attend an Amish one-room school house for a day as a child. Obviously, my family was greatly affected, but it touched my heart to see an article in our ACU paper because I wasn’t certain if there
would be any impact at all other than my co-workers and friends who know I come from that area.
What wasn’t addressed in the article, however, was more than simply the safety of schools in relationship to our education majors. There is much spiritually that we in the church can learn from the Amish. This was brought to light after the horrendous shootings, and countless “English” as the Amish call everyone outside the Amish faith, were stunned at the immediate forgiveness given by these unique people, their actions following with visiting Robert’s parents-hugging and crying together for an hour.
Parents and siblings of those killed also visited Roberts wife and children to tell them face-to-face that they forgive him. Wendy told me that in the long stream of horse and buggies going to the funerals, the path chosen was directly in front of Robert’s house.
Every child inside those buggies was waving and many smiling at Robert’s family. What is interesting to me is that the Amish usually contain their emotions and don’t reach out to the “English” except in business dealings.
They seclude themselves from the world to protect themselves from the evil in the world. For forty-five minutes, the world was invaded by Roberts who destroyed and desecrated the young Amish girls.
In the end, though, the last say was with the Amish, and that word is forgiveness.
Kerry O’Neill, ACU library worker