Hope, love, better days begin with the thoughts in our hearts

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The past two weeks have been tragic ones. There has been murder, mayhem, and cities going up in flames. People are apologizing for saying they will never turn their backs on our American flag and others are excusing those who lighted the fires, hurled bricks, rocks, and bottles of frozen water. The chaos has been difficult to watch.

What triggered this entire series of events is a travesty that should never have happened. But it did. Sad to say it can’t be undone. I pray for the family of the man so brutally murdered. I pray for this situation that now has us in the grips of yet another crisis. God is bigger. Once we can all see that and live accordingly, we will begin to see improvement. “Why can’t we all just get along?” seems to be a very relevant question these days. 

I stopped watching the news five days ago. One thing seems to have come clear to those who were bent on having us to stay “sheltered in place” because of the corona virus. It seems it is now alright to gather in clusters. We’ll see what the results of that are in a few weeks I suppose. As I said, God is bigger than all these challenges we have faced so far in 2020. That is one thing that will not change. 

While on overload from all the sad news coming at us from every direction, I watched a very uplifting movie this weekend. I don’t watch movies very often. I don’t care for the language or actions in movies since the 1960s. When this movie I watched yesterday came out a few months ago I told our grandchildren I would love for us to go to the movie theater and see it. I felt fortunate to be able to view it from my den over the weekend. It is called “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood,” based on the life of Fred Rogers. He had the long-running children’s program on TV called Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. 

Fred Rogers was a Christian and never tried to hide it. Neither did he set himself up as a perfect man or as judge over those who did not believe as he did. He prayed for people by name every day. One of the most touching scenes in this movie was of Mr. Rogers, portrayed so fabulously by Tom Hanks, on his knees by his bed, holding a list of names. He called each name and prayed. The movie told a complicated story based on an interview done by a writer for a magazine years ago. The writer of the story, “Can You Say, Hero,” was forever changed for the better because of his contact with Fred Rogers. 

Our daughters grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Each day we would sing with him, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…won’t you please, won’t you please… please won’t you be my neighbor!” In language that children could understand Mr. Rogers talked about very serious topics such as death, divorce, and being taunted by one’s peers. He did it with caring and feeling. 

This movie helped me adjust my thinking. There is hope, love, and lots of good people left in this world. When we are surrounded by trouble it is hard to keep one’s thought process headed in the right direction. We must do it minute by minute or the negatives of this world will erode our mind. The greatest book ever written says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I have had to do a lot of searching to see how I can improve the thoughts in my heart. There will be more beautiful days in our neighborhoods. And let them begin with me . . . and you.