‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Could you be mine?
Would you be mine?
It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood
A neighborly day for a beauty
Could you be mine?
Would you be mine?
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you
Let’s make the most of this beautiful day
Since we’re together, might as well say
Would you be my, could you be my
Won’t you be my neighbor?’ Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
Mr. Rogers iconic song describes us before we allowed imaginations and fear to captivate our thoughts…and before we learned hate. It is not us against them when it comes to battling our 2020 pandemic…it is us against COVID-19.
I watched a political operative suggest that 100 thousand deaths in the United States…was not so bad. He went on to postulate that the coronavirus was like the flu in the fatalities that have occurred… As I considered the bizarre comparison…I wanted to say…you ain’t seen nothing yet! We are in the midst of this plague…we are not at the conclusion. I love literature and novels and science fiction…but I do not live my life according to the creative narratives that the stories contain.
It is a bit of a Faustian Contract to believe that the idea of either opening the economy or staying safe from the virus is the terrible decision that each of us have to make. We can do both…if we do not allow our emotions or our political affiliations…to blind us from the common sense needed to navigate the troubled waters that all of us are sailing in!
During our stay at home time together we have learned that there is nothing that we humans need more….than each other.
During my 32 years and 2 months and 3 weeks at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, I was convinced that the university required every member of the its community to be a success. The Building Service Worker was as important as the chancellor to the smooth operation of our beloved school. The fallible concepts of the lesser and the greater…causes great institutions, and organizations, and nations…to falter and fail. Churches that succeed in fulfilling the mission of Christ…coalesce together…and every member has an essential role to play and perform!
When Pastor Kerry came to us, a little over a year ago, he mentioned that he was a playwright and that he was going to write a play for the members of our congregation to perform. As the great comedic actor, Artie Johnson, said in his portrayal on the popular show, Laugh In, ‘Very Interesting,’…I thought. As I sat in the audience, on the night of the performance, I was gob-smacked with the clear bringing together of our church in the performance. I had not witnessed anything like the unity that was before me…in my over 20 years as a First Presbyterian congregant. The smiles and laughter emanating from both the actors and the audience was an object lesson for me…and for life!
My friend, Lisa, remarked to me that she felt that our church was, ‘hitting its groove,’ and I could not agree more. There is a profound peace and contentment in being a member of a church that accepts everyone, and that loves everyone, and that is actively seeking the voice of a loving God!
Understanding comes from listening. Listening promotes understanding. Kindness brings love. All of us desire others to love us and to experience others concerned about our welfare. Love is magnetic. It draws people to its compelling beauty and light! If I am sad…a cheerful word can make me glad. When you make another person happy…it makes you happy and your burdens seem lighter and easier to bear…
Antagonism is a trick…and harsh words cause indigestion… Each of us are members of this human experience…but a short time. Let’s be remembered for how happy we made others feel…not for what we pretended to know…