As a early Christmas present, my original Grandson took me to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
What a delightful surprise!
I told him I would likely cry through the whole movie.
He told me that was OK, and every time I did, he reached out and held my hand.
As a young man in his first year of college, I am so proud that he isn’t afraid to let his love be shown in that way.
He tells me that he remembers watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood with me when he was very small.
I can only hope that some of those thoughts and ideas carried into his heart to this day. I believe they did.
He is all at once an excited, ambitious young man, but with a heart as tender as can be.
After seeing the movie, my love for the man, Mr. Fred Rogers, has been rekindled.
I have read more on him, watched more documentaries, and seen him on YouTube maybe more than I ever have.
I’ve had to ask myself the reason why, and the answer I think, has been cooking in my heart for quite some time.
This is turning into a post much different than when it began, but maybe while I continue to process, you can find something helpful for yourself as well.
Several years ago, I noted in myself a critical spirit.
Sometimes it was one that could be noted by anyone within earshot, but mostly, it was simply thinking and speaking the way the world thinks and speaks, perhaps not even perceived by them, since they did it as well.
Always having been the object of scorn growing up, I felt a serious need to fit in.
So any time I could comment – just comment – on someone else, I would do it, and I guess I thought it helped me to fit in.
What I know now, is that it was building up inside of me a critical spirit.
One that would not only harden my heart, take a whole lot of inner work to realize, and change.
Anyway, in literally EVERY piece of media I consumed about Fred Rogers, he was calling our and speaking to the weakest among us.
He was calling out to the social injustice he saw.
But most of all, he was telling all the “Less thans”, that they were “More than” they ever believed.
They were not defective, or broken, or unimportant, but that somewhere in them was a special strength and purpose given to them by their creator.
He so reminds me of my very favorite Bible verses –
Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that you formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. –
God knew about my every day, He knew who I was, and who I was to be; and to me, it seemed like maybe Mr. Rogers did too.
How can I not aspire to be more like that; seeing others the way God sees them.
After all – that is why I’m here!
It’s an inside job, difficult, but worth the work.
A softer, less critical spirit is easier for others to live with, and for myself as well.
Until next time – consider your own insides – Do what it takes.
I’ll see you next time around.