My brother sent me an article about Mr. Rogers and his profound impact on a writer, Tim Madigan, who interviewed him and subsequently wrote a book called, I am Proud of You. My brother said that the second page of the article brought him to tears, and as soon as I read it I knew why.

For those of us with poor relationships with our fathers, it is deeply touching to learn how Mr. Rogers’ acceptance of, and un-self-interested affection for, another man could reach this man’s heart and help heal his father-wound. The secret? Mr. Rogers, an ordained Christian minister, saw his profession as a ministry, a way of bringing God’s grace into the lives of others. He imagined that as he looked at the camera he was giving his undivided love and attention to each child. And that is how he treated the writer who interviewed him–undivided attention, acceptance, and eventually a parental kind of affection.

“In the book we learn how intentional he was in his television show, understanding it as a ministry and lovingly using it to impart the values of the gospel that was so dear to him: grace, forgiveness, kindness, and trust in an Unconditional Love.”

The author of the article in Christianity Today, Jason Gray, continues,

I’m Proud of You is an understated and modest book, competently written. But within its pages you find the best kind of story—the kind of story that not only inspires you to be more human, live an ennobled kind of life, and to love better than you thought you could, but that also reveals the grace that makes these things possible.”

As Gray ponders the affect of the book on his own life, he asks a question which each of us needs to ponder,

 “What might my life look like if I better incarnated the grace of God? How would my wife’s life be different if this were true of me? My kids? My friends and those around me whom my life touches?

And he concludes with a statement of hope:

…in Mister Rogers I find a man, a broken sinner like me, set free to love and live the kind of life that Jesus points to. If Mister Rogers can find that kind of grace, maybe it’s available to me, too.”

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