Something truly sacred

Matt on the night before his second open heart surgery, enjoying a moment of laughter with Uncle Eric and Captain (his grandfather), 1994

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing, that when we look for what’s best in the person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something truly sacred.”
— Fred Rogers

Those who know me best know that Fred Rogers is one of my great heroes.  I am too old to have benefited from his work when I was a child, but through my own children I came to know his profound ability to see the holy in everyday life.  Take some time today to channel your inner Fred Rogers and look for the good in each person you meet.  It’s one of the simplest ways to make the world a better place, and at the same time, to create a more beautiful neighborhood inside our own minds.

19 Comments

  1. Strive though we may to escape egocentric orientation, we all have a favorite photo in which we are at least one of the subjects. This is mine. Thank you so much for posting it. ❤

    • Eric, it’s one of my favorite photos too! It reminds me of another very dark time during which there were rays of hope shining through. Although you cannot see it in the photo, it was a moment captured at the end of a very long and discouraging day, with worrisome debates among the doctors about the planned surgical intervention, and seemingly endless pre-op tests that preceded surgery. The homograft pulmonic valve placed in Matt’s heart during that surgery was still considered an experimental procedure, and we were told to expect anywhere from 2 to 10 years out of it. It has now been working well for 18.5 years and shows no sign of deterioration so far. We could never have imagined such a positive outcome for that particular intervention, but the love poured out on us by family and friends during that evening (including two large boxes full of gifts for the boys, which arrived that day from our friends at the Lompoc church in California) got us through a very uncertain time.

  2. This quote from Fred Rogers is perfectly representative of the reason he is so admired by so many of us. There is a holy innocence about seeing the best in others, or even in particular life situations in which we find ourselves.
    Thank you so much for sharing the beautlful photograph of Matt, Eric, and Captain. What a precious sight!!
    Hope your Lord’s Day is truly blessed.

    • Thanks Carla, “you always make each day a special one for me.” 🙂

    • Rene

      Pairing this with today’s post is an amazing coincidence. When I was a teenager, I made a snarky comment about Mr. Rogers in my history class; my hip, young-ish teacher leaped to his defense, much as your Granny did for your father. It made me think, and I can assure you I much appreciate Mr. Rogers these days.

      • Yes, Mr. Rogers was perhaps the most parodied and misunderstood figure in television, but the more one finds out about him, the more remarkable he becomes. I too thought it was quite a coincidence that the post of a year ago was so aligned with today’s. That seems to happen a lot, although I don’t consciously plan it that way. I guess it must have something to do with the seasons, or the cyclical nature of things.

  3. Don Buckner

    Thank you for making my world more beautiful! I love the love that the picture displays.

    • Thanks Don! I am so happy to have you with us here. Technology really does have its advantages.

  4. Mike Bertoglio

    Another memorable quote which also has ramifications for self love. If we can recognize the sacred within and honor that. So many can’t.

    • Yes, Mike; I think Fred Rogers would agree. He made it his life’s work to help children realize their own self worth. It’s quite a different concept than the empty narcissism pushed on children from so many well-intentioned but ultimately counterproductive efforts to boost their egos.

  5. What a beautiful photo!! Yes, it has turned out very well indeed so you never know what things will come about.

    • Amy, I am clinging to that hope right now!

  6. Kathy

    I, too, shared my love of the gentleness, simplicity, and profound wisdom of Mr. Rogers with my children. In fact, I have still saved some of my favorite episodes on VHS tapes! Re: the photo…one rarely captures such genuine delight in the expressions of all. LOVE IT!

    • Kathy, I remember your saying that watching Mr. Rogers was a stress-buster for you. We too have many taped episodes and whenever Matt watches one I cannot help but be drawn to it when I walk into the room.

  7. Ryan

    I cried hard when Fred Rogers passed. Innocence lost. Love you, Gia. Thanks for this!

    • Ryan, so did I. Remind me to show you sometime the letter to the editor I wrote that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle the day after Mr. Rogers died. His work lives on! See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFzXaFbxDcM

  8. Mike Bertoglio

    Four years ago my father died just before Xmas on December 21 in Portland. We went down for the service which was two days after Xmas. The church was decorated – the tree was there and the creche, the oranaments and the liturgical display; all heralded the arrival of the King of Hearts. It was a Catholic church. A sad time in the midst of celebration. Recently I found out from my brother who was present at my dad’s death- I had seen him two days before- that for financial reasons my step mother had my dad moved from St.Vincents Catholic hospital to a V.A. facility. My brother noted the care level was disturbingly lax compared to St.Vincents. My dad was taken off life support, struggled to breathe and quickly expired. My step mother is not in any sort of financial stress and never has been. I try and stay on good terms but now after this new information- I struggle with this and Xmas is not the same for me and won’t be for quite some time.

    • Mike, I am sorry to read that you, too, have some sad memories associated with Christmas. For many of us, the holiday season holds conflicted memories of sorrow in the midst of outward displays of joy. For our family, this is the year that will be forever etched our memories as the one in which the seasonal joy was lessened considerably by personal suffering. Yet even in the midst of this, we are able to cling to all that remains, and hope for blessings yet unknown. I hope you are able to do the same.

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