I love this quote from Fred Rogers (he of Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood, a popular children’s television program when I was a kid). A friend posted it on Facebook this week and I thought – I need to blog about that.
I was asked recently to define what it is to be a friend for one of the Sunday School classes at St. A’s. My opening sentence went something like: friends are the people who’ve seen you at your worst, but still think you are the best.
That is certainly true of my closest friends. I don’t have to ask them what they think of me – they tell me in many different ways that they think I’m awesome. Even when they’ve seen me at my worst – the moments when I’m petty, when I’m mean, when I’m careless.
This Fred Rogers quote made me realize that the way my friends appreciate me, is a holy thing. And trust me – I return the favour. Ask me about my closest friends and I will speak of them in glowing terms, because that is how I see them. As the wonderful, intelligent, funny, caring, considerate, rock-solid people that I love. That just happens naturally on friendship – you become friends because you appreciate each other.
Sometimes, as people of faith, we struggle with participating in Holy things. We underestimate our ability to be involved in Godly actions. We think that the things of Heaven, the things of Jesus, the things of God, are beyond us. How can our mundane, ordinary lives be part of God’s work in this world
But the thing Mr. Rogers points out here is that participating in the Holy is as simple as appreciating someone. That when we see the best in another, we are doing what God does. It actually IS that simple to practice the presence of God, to become more like Jesus, to elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary.
This Lent, may you see the best in others. May you have a friend and may you be a friend. May you know that God appreciates YOU, and may you be grateful.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Colossians 3:12-14 NIV