What Others Are Saying About The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers
My expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. Just pages into it, an obscure image from the movie review section of the San Francisco Chronicle summarized what I was already feeling. On weekends the Chronicle published summary reviews of movies in a pink Datebook edition. Each review was accompanied by a depiction of a man sleeping, looking bored, sitting and clapping, or standing on his seat clapping fanatically. It served as a visual summary of how good the movie was. As I read through the introduction and opening chapters of Amy’s book, inside I was like the little man who was on his seat clapping hysterically. I was singing on the inside. This is a gem of a book.
One cannot read this book entirely dry-eyed. There is much that is touching, and more than touching. The revelation of a truly spiritual man draws an exquisitely agonizing call from the heart, to grow to such stature, to find pleasure in pleasing God. There is a tremendous difference between religion and spirituality. Mr. Rogers learned that well, and taught that ... sometimes with words.
I find much of modern religion to be syrupy sentimentality. There is much sentiment in Amy Hollingsworth's book, but none of it is syrupy, and all is fitting.
The book is not a biography though we do learn much about Fred Rogers' childhood. The book is written like a eulogy in parts as the author simply and gently discusses Mr. Rogers' attitudes and his deep faith. In other sections we listen to examples of goodness given in a very quiet gentle way, Mr. Rogers' way.
It was very pleasant reading experience and the text did evoke a tear or two from me as I read it. No, these tears weren't because of sad stories.
It was the way the author evoked the beauty of Fred Rogers' inner man that drew tears.
The book's author makes us privy to this, but more important she shares and embraces the goodness of Mr. Rogers' life. I could not have received a more perfect Father's Day gift. It's my wish and prayer that I too could say "God", without saying a word. Our whole world would be a better place if we all could.