Years ago I read A Midwife’s Story, by Penny Armstrong and Sheryl Feldman. It chronicles Penny’s work as a midwife among the Amish during the 1970s. It’s a book I’ve reread over and over, and it’s definitely on my top-five list of favorite books, ever. (And I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Amish, midwifery, or both!)
I had two of my four babies at home. Because I had that “shared experience” with the women in the book, I felt connected to them. I “knew” their stories.
But I never dreamed that shared experience would be a primary bond to a real-life Amish woman—I’ll call her Mary—more than twenty years later.
Several times as I visited Mary on her farm just over a year ago, she said to me, “I can’t believe you had home births.” It wasn’t what she expected from an Englisch author! (She’d had all seven of her children at home, with a midwife.)
As my time with Mary progressed, I asked her what her wishes for her children were. She answered, “That they grow up to know Jesus as their personal savior and follow his teachings.”
I nodded and said, “We have that in common too.”
Sitting at Mary’s kitchen table, I felt a genuine sense of community with her even though we live our daily lives in two separate cultures. Our shared experiences as both believers and mothers had created an instantaneous bond, one that continues through cards and letters.
Is there someone you share a bond with because of a shared experience? Has that bond fostered a sense of community? Please share!