Suzanne Woods Fisher: Driven to Distraction
As far as Suzanne Woods Fisher is concerned, what
you instantly think of when you hear the phrase
“Amish fiction” is ultimately a distraction.
“Those buggies and the bonnets
and the beards—they distract
us,” says Amish fiction
author Suzanne Woods Fisher.
“There’s so much more to learn
from the Plain people than how
to dress or drive.”
Her latest novel is The Lesson
(Revell Books), the third book
in the Stoney Ridge Seasons
series. Drawing from personal
family experience—her grandfather
was raised Old Order German Baptist (German Baptists are cousins
to the Amish)—what strikes her about the Old
Order Amish is their intentional forgiveness.
“We just don’t emphasize that enough in our
modern churches,” Suzanne shares. “To the
Amish, it’s a daily attitude of ‘letting things go,
big and small.’”
She says they place great importance on forgiving
others because of Jesus’ words in Matthew
6:15: But if you do not forgive others their sins,
your Father will not forgive your sins. “It gives one
pause for thought,” she says.
What Suzanne loves about writing Amish
titles like The Lesson is that it’s a quiet way to
point people toward a better life by using Amish
characters as the illustration. “The Amish are
the first to say they aren’t perfect, and I try
not to over-glamourize them, but at their best,
they are close to the heart of Christ,” she says.
“They make choices that are counterintuitive to
human nature (turning the other cheek even if
you run out of cheeks, for example). It’s challenging
and inspiring to take those moments
of decision, common to all of us, and turn them
into a story.”