What Would Mr. Rogers Do?

After an excellent massage this morning, I went into the waiting room a little loopy, smiled at the woman who was sitting there, and finished up my business at the front desk.

The waiting woman was called back, but as I sat updating the calendar on my phone, she returned and walked up to me.  She said she had been called to pray for me, and would that be okay.

This has happened before, people wanting to pray for me (though this is my first Oklahoma Encounter, which is odd, considering this is the Bible Belt.  Hmmm…).  I know the request is not about me, but about what that person needs in the moment, so I don’t take offense.  I told her to do what she felt was best, expecting her to put me on her prayer list or whatever.  But, she stood in front of me, planted her hands on my shoulders, and went on at length about the healing power of Jesus.

Then, she stepped back and asked for a hug.

I started to get a tad uncomfortable—probably because The X-Files has been my background noise for the last couple of weeks.  But, then I remembered my new mantra, one I decided on after seeing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood last week.

What Would Mr. Roger’s Do?

So, I hugged her.  And when she said, “These are God’s arms hugging you,” I imagined everything she believed she was giving me being returned to her.  And I told her to have a wonderful massage.

Fred Rogers was all about paying attention and offering kindness.  As the movie points out, he had to work at this.

So do I.

Today I paid attention to what this woman seemed to need.  Raising my atheist flag was not it.  Being kind as she gave me something that mattered to her was.

Thanks, Fred, for hugging me today.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Lauer
    Nov 26, 2019 @ 15:36:15

    You are a truly beautiful person.


  2. Kiki
    Nov 26, 2019 @ 15:45:12

    Dear Sandy Sue, this is such a wonderful ‘story’ – yep, you had ‘only’ to open your heart to see (and maybe return) kindness coming your way and I’m sure you felt quite better. I’m a naturally born hugger, but I also have a sis-in-law who just CANNOT do that, she doesn’t like it and I have to accept that too, ’cause we are all different.
    I’m glad you had this rather uplifting experience. Maybe it helps what I sometimes think or say: If (a kindness) it doesn’t help, it doesn’t hurt. And I don’t mind you atheists either, because for me faith works, and if something else works for you (& maybe not for me), that’s fine too.
    Such a fine illustration of a passionate observation too…. you’re such a unique soul and I’m so happy to have gotten to know you.


  3. Catherine Cheng, MD
    Nov 26, 2019 @ 15:52:31

    Sandy Sue!! Thank you so much for sharing this story. It’s exactly what I needed, too. So we both got hugged by Mr. Rogers today. What an amazing person he was. Happy Thanksgiving!


  4. Littlesundog
    Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:44:58

    I can tell you the bible belt (I refuse to put caps on it) is alive and hard at work here, so it is odd this was your first encounter in Oklahoma. I don’t know how you managed so well. I felt my hairs rise up just reading about your experience. I suppose it’s where I am at the moment, but I do not appreciate having to go along with something to make someone else feel better, let alone have my space invaded. Still, there are times when I’m tolerant and often it’s easier just to go with the flow. You did well… and it did make for great story-telling!


    • Sandy Sue
      Nov 28, 2019 @ 11:34:40

      I think if this woman had been the least bit sanctimonious, I would have backed away. And I sometimes don’t know my boundaries have been breached until after the event. But this seemed different. I felt like the one who was doing the healing.


  5. jinjerstanton
    Dec 18, 2019 @ 13:19:49

    You handled that so well!


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