In October of 2006, the nation was shaken over by a shooting at a school. After so many other school shootings, what made this one different? Simple, the shooting was at an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. Many Americans say the Amish as an innocent people, that this was the one place tragedy couldnt strike (Kraybill et. al, The Amish Way, 184). Many Americans would list the top virtues of Amish community as being security, serenity, contentment, and the sense of community. According to one Amish leader, this event was the Amish version of 9/11 (Kraybill et. al, Amish Grace, 17). Many within the Amish community will never forget where they were when they found out about the shooting in Nickel Mines. The Amish people take their faith very seriously, so much so that it dictates much of their life. Amish Grace is written about the Nickel Mines shooting and the Amish faith, with a particular emphasis on forgiveness and grace. .
Amish Grace, written by three experts on Amish traditions and culture, is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the story of the shooting itself and the repercussions of the shooting not only within the Nickel Mines community but within the Amish communities throughout the nation. The second examines the culture of the Amish people as well as the manner in which they show grace. Part three ruminates on what grace is and what grace means, not only for the Amish but for the English also. Grace, as it is being used, is in reference to forgiveness.
The Amish take an interesting perspective of forgiveness and emotional healing. They feel that to be able to truly heal, one must first forgive. How can a person heal while carrying a grudge and hatred in their heart? In truth, they cannot. When asked why the Amish forgave Roberts, the man who shot the girls, so quickly, they simply responded because God calls us to forgive (Kraybill et. al, Amish Grace, 5).