Well, I am a little bummed at blogger. I had this post nearly written, saved it as a draft and everything but the title disappeared! I guess somebody up there didn't like it the way it was written! So, I will do this again.
Last evening I had an interesting encounter with an Amish gentleman at Wal-Mart. Let me clarify to those of you in other regions of the world. Encountering an Amish man in Wal-Mart around here is not in itself an unusual thing. There are several good-sized Amish communities in my neck of the woods. There are enough Amish around here that both the nearby Meijer and Wal-Mart stores have put up small shed barns in their parking lots for the sole purpose of having a sheltered place to tie up the horse and buggies.
Anyway...last evening I had to break down and make a trip to the grocery store so that I could feed my family dinner. Let's just say that my cupboards could have given Old Mother Hubbard a run for her money! I had just moved beyond Produce to the Frozen Foods section and was deliberating on which frozen treats were the best buy for my family (i.e. generate that most happiness for the money) when this Amish man who was alone with his cart said, "There are just too many things to choose from, aren't there?" I had been so engrossed in my food purchasing decisions, that I had not even noticed him there among the other shoppers. I looked up at him and agreed. There are too many things to chose from. He continues on talking about how he wishes things were simpler. I started to push along my cart, but he continues talking. I am beginning to think that I have a sign on my forehead that says, "I'm nice. You can tell me your life story and I will listen." He starts asking me questions about whether I go to church and where. If I have a family and how big. He shares that he is single and has actually lived in 42 different states. So, I decide that this is certainly NOT your typical Amish man. Most are born, live, and die in the same community. You don't go too far in a horse and buggy! He shares how he has gone to various types of churches of lived in many Amish communities. He said he has been in this area about 7 months and has been going to a church he really enjoys. I asked him where and he explained that it is an Amish church that meets in various homes and has some great bible study. He went on to talk about how he believes in marriage for life and how divorce is only ok on rare occasions and that remarriage is not right. He even quoted scripture (I think it was from 2 Corinthians.) that spoke against remarriage. He asked me about my husband and children. They were questions of a personal nature (especially for a impromptu conversation in Wal-Mart) but not so personal that I felt uncomfortable standing there talking with him. I finally decide that this man would probably talk all night and my children were still at home waiting for dinner, so I shook his hand and told him my first name and that I was glad to have met him. He said that his name was Nelson something. For the life of me I cannot remember his last name other than I think it began with E. I said maybe I would run into him again at Wal-Mart. As he pushed his cart away he said something about how I should come to church sometime. I can only assume he was referring to the Amish church which I thought was very odd. I didn't see anymore after that.
In retrospect I wish I would have asked him more about himself. Was he always Amish or did he convert? Like I said, he was atypical for an Amish man. He appeared to be in his forties, claimed to be single yet had a beard which I thought was a married thing. Perhaps he was divorced himself. I can't remember for sure, but I don't think he had a hat on either which seems unusual for an Amish man out in public.
The whole thing was odd, and I woke up this morning thinking about this encounter. I tend to be of a mind that nothing happens without reason. So, what was this? I can't help feeling that this was part of the Grand Plan and this encounter served some purpose - perhaps for my benefit or his. I realize that sounds really weird. Anyway, I thought I would share this since it is on my brain. Hopefully, if you have read this far, I haven't bored you all to tears!