Sometimes it's good to remember that you can't paint all Amish with the same paintbrush.
The following is a true account that happened several months ago. I know the young Amish man well, I also know some of the others.
It was early Sunday morning in an sleepy little Amish community. Bishop John was roused from his Bible reading by a knock on his door. He rose to answer the door and found a man standing there. A home - less English man, in dirty tattered clothes, and according to the smell in need of some nice soap and water. "Can I have a little something to eat?" the man asked, "and if I could sleep in your barn I would be most grateful."
"No, you can't! Be off with you!" the bishop shooed him off his doorstep and went back to reading his Bible.
The homeless man, tired and hungry proceeded down the road and tried at another Amish home, only to be met with a similar welcome. Other homes proved to be equally welcoming some of them threatening to call the police or set their dog after him.
Finally he came to another home. The home of a young Amish family with three little children. The man was excommunicated from church and being shunned due to some things he had done (not sins according to the Bible) When he answered the door and the homeless man asked once again for a little something to eat and permission to sleep in his barn the young Amish man invited him inside. While his wife was getting the children ready for church he cooked up a nice breakfast for him and served him at their table. When he was done eating the Amish man gave him clean clothes and offered their shower to him and then showed him to their own bedroom and told him he's welcome to sleep there while they go to church.
The homeless man gratefully accepted everything.
The family left for church. After services were over the meal was served. Everyone got to sit around the long bench tables to join in a meal. The young Amish man was given a little table off to the side where he was required to eat by himself, because after all he was sinful and not fit to eat with everyone else. While everyone was eating they were talking about this homeless fellow who had knocked at their door. Everyone recounted the way they chased him off, much laughter followed.
The young Amish man said nothing, but he and his family left soon. They went home to find the homeless man still sound asleep in their bed. They proceeded to cook up a feast. Once it was ready they woke him, and together they sat at the table and ate. When they were done they wrapped up some of the leftovers and gave it to him. Next the Amish man went out to the barn and got his ride ready. He drove him to town, to the bus station, bought a ticket for him, and sent him on his way to rejoin his family hundreds of miles away.
Later the wife told her parents what they had done .... that news spread in whispers around the community. Suddenly there was no more laughter about the way they had treated this homeless man.
Who really was the better Christian? The Bible reading bishop ... or the excommunicated young man?
It was all very thought provoking to me. How would I have responded? How would you?