|Swartzentruber Amish Harvey|
Swartzentruber Amish do not allow nor take photos as it's considered a graven image. Against the rules. A sin!
So why am I publishing a picture of Harvey D. (another Harvey, not our son-in-law)?
He took it himself! Posted it on a public forum. Gave me permission to use it.
You may remember I penned a post on teaching an Amish to drive a car. That was Harvey D. Back when I couldn't release his name. Read the post. At the time, he was unsure of his destiny - would he leave or remain Amish? The inner conflict broke his spirit.
He was nearly driven to suicide as the two worlds played tug of war with his mind.
Harvey decided to leave the uber strict Swartzentruber Order of Amish. His wife refused.
According to the Ordnung, a Church member who leaves must be shunned. One of the Amish Preachers came to Harvey's property to tell him he was shunned. His name is on The List. A list of those shunned is shared within the settlement. New Church members receive this list and likewise must shun Harvey and other wayward ones on the list.
His Amish employees quit. One walked out the day Harvey announced to his employees that he was becoming English. It's verboten to work for one who left the fold.
Harvey exchanged his required round eyeglass frames for different ones. Bought blue jeans - but struggled with a correct size. Up to the day he left, his clothing was handmade. He had no idea what size to buy. And he hung up his Amish hat . . . for good.
For the first time in his 31 years, Harvey D.,
- went out in public without his Amish hat
- cut his hair to bare his ears
- shaved off his beard
- went to a movie theatre
- ate at Dairy Queen
- wore khaki pants
- saw professionally run fireworks
- bought a watch and a wedding ring
- went to a baseball game
- bought car safety seats for his younger tots
- drove his sons in a car - often without his wife's blessing
- brought his sons to a restaurant for breakfast
|English Harvey with his Amish children|
He drove out of state to visit his KY birth home. He reveled in the freedom of choice. "Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide," said Napoleon Bonaparte.
Harvey soon learned about speeding in his car. Losing control. Accidents. Insurance. The police. Tickets. Going to court.
Meanwhile, his sweet Amish wife stayed home to dutifully tend the five children. Cook. Gather eggs, Sew. Change diapers. Wash and hang up clothing. Weed the garden. Preserve food for winter. After all, that is the requirement on women according to the Ordnung.
The women of the Church gathered around her. They cocooned her with friendship. Ignored him.
"They treat me as if I'm dead," Harvey moaned to me.
For nearly a year now Harvey and his wife have lived in a culturally, spiritually divided home. He's English. She's Amish.
Breaking the rule of shunning, his wife talks to Harvey. Cooks for him. Washes his clothes. Tries to sew his English shirts with collars. Allows former Amish and English in her life. Tolerates Harvey's "worldly" car on their farm. She and the children take their buggy to Gma. Harvey drives his car to a Protestant church.
We like Harvey. Just had breakfast with him last week. We like his wife. I bought fresh eggs from her until she got rid of the chickens. We love his darling five children. We pray for them. And for this unusual situation.
He's English and believes he's right. He'd like his wife and children to join his world. His wife is Amish and determined to remain in the life she was born into.
I barely understand the Amish culture and mindset and, I'm unsure how I feel about this outcome. I grieve that a home is fractured and children are living in limbo but, it is what it is. Somehow it's working...for now.
Will he go back to Amish?
Will she and the children leave the Amish?
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
Thanks for sharing. Feel free to . . .
- forward this post to friends & family,
- provide a link on your blog or website to www.BrendaNixonOnAmish.blogspot.com,
- alert group leaders of my available to speak & share my Power Point about the Amish.