(Make sure you read part one to get the big picture) 😉
I got a call from my Amish farmer friend the first of December letting me know he would stop the next morning to pick up some apple wood.
I went over the details again.
“You are going to take 1/3 of the pile of wood. If I’m not home when you stop, just stick the $20 bill in the shop on the mantle.”
“Yes. I will.”
Well, he did stop the next day. I happened to be in the house doing book work and saw him pull in and leave. Few hours later I went out to the shop to get the money.
I could not find it, so I called and left a message on his phone. Thirty minutes later, he called back. I asked him about the money?
There was a pause on the other end of the phone..”Well, I am a little short of cash right now. Twenty dollars may not seem like a lot of money..but I will get it to you the next time I come to town.”
Me: “When do you think that would be? Within a few weeks?”
Amish farmer : “Oh, yes. Within a couple of weeks....”
Well, 4 weeks went by and I never heard from him. Decided to send him a gentle reminder with some of my apple orchard stationary…Reminded him it had been a month, and it was past due.
By now, I was starting to battle a low-grade bad attitude. It was not about the money. It had to do with integrity. His word. Feeling like I was being played for a fool.
Keep in mind, I do have a market for apple wood…just have not aggressively pursued it this Winter. I was getting $1 a pound for it @ a local bar. Sold over $1000 worth a couple of winters ago.
My desire to be a good neighbor to this new community of Amish was starting to go south.
I was wrestling with thoughts like, “Am I being petty? Is $20 worth all of the mental vexation I was expending on it?”
Problem was I couldn’t shake it. (The vexation)
There was a program @ our local library last month about the Amish. (Within the past 5 years, over 40 Amish families have moved into our area.)
One of the things I learned was that over every 25 to 30 families there are either deacons or a bishop who takes care of the day today issues of the congregation. I decided last week I was not going to just write off the $20, rather I was going to make an effort to contact the local Bishop (or Deacon) and tell my story. If he blew me off, then I would let it go…but not until.
Last night I sent a Facebook message to a lady I know who drives for the Amish. Since the Amish do not own cars, they hire out local people when they need a ride somewhere further than they can take their horses. When I told her what I was thinking, she absolutely encouraged me to get a hold of the current Deacon, gave me his name and number…
This morning he returned my call.
He asked me what I wanted? I told him I had a 30 second story, and was looking for his input.
When I finished the first thing he said, was there were two or three people he knew that have pulled stuff like that before, then asked me his name.
I told him.
He said, “He was at the top of my list. This was probably the 6th time he had gotten a phone call about this man…If it wasn’t wood, it was hay, if it wasn’t hay, it was something else…”
We talked a couple of more minutes. He thanked me more than once, and said, “It isn’t about the money.”
“I want to know about this sort of thing. Thank you for calling.”
My vexation was 100% gone.
He took my name and address and said he would make sure I got my money.
View from the orchard floor