Amish people are just people and the world over people are a lot alike, including Amish people. But the Amish do have some unique ways. Most Amish people don’t have televisions, radios, VCRs, DVDs, computers, iPods, iPads, and other electronic do-dads. Of course, you know, they don’t have cars, ether. One of the things they do when the work is done and the supper dishes are clean is tell stories. They have a simple name for an evening of stories. They say “Tonight we a going to have a tellin’.” (I learned this from watching a movie based on a novel by Beverly Lewis called Saving Sarah Cain. That’s the extent of my research, so you know. When new Beverly Lewis novels come out I have driven up to three hours to get an early copy for our girls to read).
There are few things more powerful than simply telling the stories of God and life and our lives with God in God’s world. This week I head north. I get a couple weeks a year to do so and when the sun is setting in the evening, the loons begin to call on the lakes, the moon begins to rise in the sky, the air gets cool—there will be a tellin’.
And once again nothing will be significantly different that it has been for hundreds of years when the room gets quiet, the breathing slows and all eyes are trained on the teller. It’s an experience common to all of mankind. I love electronic goodies. I love modern conveniences. I love swift, comfortable, safe travel. I love a lot about what modern life has to offer, but there is still nothin’ like a tellin’—nothing else in all the world quite like it.
There’s no tellin’ what happens when there’s gonna’ be a tellin’ –especially when the stories told are rooted in the timeless stories of God.
July 12, 2010