· Episode 7 ·
Previously, in Episode 6 (Deputy Jennings Works an Accident), Deputy Tom Jennings worked an accident between an Amish horse-and-wagon and a hit-and-run truck. The officer interviewed the Amish teenagers, Rebecca and Reuben Schrock.
It was God’s will for the children to be in the wreck, but it was also His will for them to live. With the results of God’s plans surrounding them, Martin and Irene Schrock were thankful. They also reminded themselves to limit their cooperation with law enforcement.
The parents appreciated the ride to the scene of the accident and for the medical services given to their children by the ambulance personnel.
Yes, the Schrock parents recognized that Reuben and Rebecca would be sore from their mishap. Aches and pains were to be expected. The adults would observe the youngsters for any unusual behavior, and if noted, would consider contacting medical experts.
When Deputy Jennings told the Schrock’s that his agency had broadcast a radio alert telling officers to be on the lookout for the silver Chevrolet truck, the adults displayed a lack of interest in the procedure or the outcome. Instead of a concern for catching the suspect driver, the Schrock’s explained that from their perspective the event was over.
Mr. Schrock wasn’t keen on estimating the value of his horse and wagon. What was the purpose since they didn’t believe in insurance and they weren’t interested in restitution?
Reluctantly, Schrock estimated the horse was worth at least $3,000, and the wheel, if it was the only part of the wagon requiring replacement, would cost about $200. But, he was not interested in answering further financial questions.
Jennings prepared himself. If he paid attention, he was going to learn more about the Old Order Amish. He wanted to be respectful, yet he wanted to understand. None of his prior law enforcement training had covered Amish beliefs or customs.
The big deputy was no longer worried about getting into trouble with his agency. He wanted to do what he thought was the right thing. However, he did question himself. “Can I do my job and respect the Amish?”
Standing beside the county road as the Schrock’s dead horse and damaged wagon were hauled away, wasn’t the ideal place for a personal discussion about religion or culture. Jennings also understood that the children needed to get home and rest. They’d been through a lot. He was hot, tired, and dirty, and he hadn’t been thrown into a ditch during a car wreck.
But, he still wanted to learn all he could before he inadvertently fouled up another report involving the Amish. This time, if they would let him, he would do more than fill out computer boxes on a form. If possible, he wanted to connect with these people personally, not as a government official.
It wasn’t Sunday school or a class on religious studies, but the Schrock’s told the deputy as much as they felt they could without breaking their own Amish rules and community norms. The parents were generous with their time and knowledge although Martin did most of the talking.
God would decide the penalty for the driver of the truck, not them. They had no interest in assisting the government in arresting anyone for a worldly crime. In fact, their children would not, could not, testify in court if the English man was ever found.
Finally, Jennings learned, the Schrock family, including parents and children, had already forgiven the driver of the truck. It was done. They had prayed together and forgiven the reckless driver as soon as the paramedics released the children from the ambulance. Each Schrock had also personally thanked the lady who had stopped and helped the twins.
The Amish would repair their wagon and dispose of their horse. Life would continue. From the Amish point-of-view, no further action was required. Certainly, no publicity was desired.
Again, the Schrock’s appreciated the deputies for their help. “Thank you very much,” they repeated. But now, they needed to collect the rest of their family and go home. There were chores to do and a meal to prepare.
No, a business card was not wanted, they answered when Jennings offered. Accepting it would be a sign of cooperation with the government.
They didn’t want a reminder about the day. Instead, they just wanted to get back to their routine life of separatism. It was God’s will.
To be continued.
Until next time, happy writing and reading!