Words of Hope: Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

My Dad loved the movie about Mr. Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. He watched it many times. During the NBC Alaska Airlines Invitational Tournament, he rented a local theatre, and all the teams watched the movie with him. Dad loved Mr. Roger’s kindness and his heart for prayer. Dad wanted to be a student on how to love people how Christ loved people. Fred Rogers said, “When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” Dad didn’t cry often, but he cried hard in this movie, and he teared up every time he watched it.

I think he cried to see the beauty of a person totally devoted to loving others. He also related to the young journalist who had bitterness towards his father and anger toward God. Dad could see himself in this man who longed for a true example of fatherly love but had been so jaded by an abusive past. He loved the forgiveness scene in the movie between the embittered young man and his dying father. My Dad understood this journey and had walked closely in its path. He had worked on forgiving an undeserving father. It’s powerful to see your life’s aspirations lived out in the examples of others. I am proud to know that my Dad loved this movie and, in many ways, emulated the beauty and courage of the good people in this film. 

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:17–19