Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amish Grace (2010 TV)

In March of this year, "Amish Grace" premiered on the Lifetime Movie Network and became the most-watched, highest-rated, original made-for-TV movie. There was something very powerful about this movie. The movie is based on a true story. The story centered on the vicious murders of a number of Amish school girls who were murdered by a crazed gunman. This happened in the middle of peaceful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in October 2006.

The movie had special meaning to me because I lived in Holmes County, Ohio in the middle of the largest Amish settlement in the United States. I would see the Amish on a daily basis. They were a peaceful and God-fearing people who lived plainly to avoid the many temptations of this wicked world. They are humans, the Amish, and are subject to the same desires and sins that the rest of us are. They are not a perfect people. Their communities are not utopian either.

The story revolves around the reaction, the struggle of a particular Amish mother, Ida Garber, and her husband, when one of the victims of mass murderer was their bright, lively and loving 14-year old daughter, Mary-Beth. The struggle really ensues when the leaders of the Amish community seek out the wife of the person who murdered the Amish children. They reach out to the “English” (anyone who is non-Amish) woman to forgive her and her dead husband. Her husband took his own life in the process of slaying the Amish schoolchildren. Not only do Amish elders and Mary Beth’s father forgive the man’s actions, they offer their assistance to the killer’s wife. What a display of true forgiveness!

The real tension comes into play when the mother of Mary Beth, Ida, cannot bring herself to forgive the mass murderer. She rejects the biblical principle of forgiveness that those in her community, including her husband, practice. She even reaches the point of rebelling, willing to face being shunned by her religious community by expressing a desire to move to Philadelphia.

The real miracle takes place near the end of the movie, and I would not want to divulge the entire ending. Suffice it to say that the movie was a powerful reminder of the manifestation of Christian love. It also has a strong rebuke of Christian Churches, too.


I would offer that this movie is a ***** out of *****. The acting is excellent. The story line is superb. The lesson is undeniable. Like any outstanding book, you can’t help but watch this movie intently through its conclusion. The only minor criticism that I had about the movie was that it seemed that all the Amish women portrayed in the movie were thin. I recall that a great many of the Amish women I remember were pleasantly plump.

The movie is available on DVD. I purchased my copy at Wal-Mart. It’s a first class movie. It is also a film. I would highly recommend that you purchase this movie along with a box of Kleenex.

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