While watching “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” I realized that Fred Rogers is a wonderful portrait of Christian mindfulness, whether he realized it or not.
Mr. Rogers walked with Jesus moment by moment. He focused all his energy on the most important thing: what was happening in the present moment. He was very intentional about how he spent his time.
By all accounts, he was a Christian who began each day with prayer and Bible study. Then he further centered by swimming laps. He worked to walk with Jesus, welcoming children into both of their presences because “of such is the kingdom of God.” Mr. Rogers listened to His Lord, loving his neighbor unconditionally.
I scanned various interviews and stories to see if Fred Rogers ever talked about Christian mindfulness specifically. He and those writing about him described it in his life, but not by name.
Nonetheless, I am certain that this ordained Presbyterian minister embodies the practice. He helped the imprisoned by working to create child-friendly spaces for visitation. He visited the sick by working alongside medical professionals to minimize trauma among child patients. He cared for those who were right in front of him, even if they were actually sitting in front of a television miles away.
Both the movie and the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” provide a vivid portrait of Christian mindfulness, practicing the presence of God moment to moment with full attention. I highly recommend both.