image created by Maria Fabrizio a

I have started following Maria Fabrizio for images like this one and for the stories that she connects me to. Ms. Fabrizio creates an image a day from a news story that gets her attention; usually she introduces me to a story I did not already know – off the beaten path human stories.

I liked this art in particular, and then the story made me cry. NPR covered Storycorps‘ collecting of the story from the police officer on Mr. Rogers’ Neighbourhood’s. This picture tells of a time in 1969 when Mr. Rogers was cooling his feet in a pool and invited Mr. Clemmons to cool off with him. After they finished with the wade pool, Mr. Rogers towel dried Mr. Clemmons feet – a significant kindness on any day and a bold statement of human connection in a racially charged time period. According to Mr. Clemmons telling on the last day of the show, he was still having life expanding moments with Mr. Rogers:

He says he’ll never forget the day Rogers wrapped up the program, as he always did, by hanging up his sweater and saying, “You make every day a special day just by being you, and I like you just the way you are.” This time in particular, Rogers had been looking right at Clemmons, and after they wrapped, he walked over.

Clemmons asked him, “Fred, were you talking to me?”

“Yes, I have been talking to you for years,” Rogers said, as Clemmons recalls. “But you heard me today.”

The understanding that each person is created in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made for good works to delight in the Heavenly Father and to connect, love, forgive, encourage, etc. oozes out of the story. Certainly, Mr. Rogers’ action echo Christ’s foot washing of his disciples feet. Mr. Rogers put into practice the good teaching he had received, and 47 years later a TV scene I never saw encourages me. Actually a host of people I have never met have encouraged me by passing stories forward..

Ms. Fabrizio posted an image that captivated.

NPR told the story of Storycorp.

Storycorp interviewed and shared Mr. Clemmon’s story.

Mr. Roger’s TV show folk archived photos.

Mr. Rogers knew and internalized the story of Christ washing His disciples feet.

Jesus’ friend, John, wrote down what happened the night of Christ’ arrest.

And behind the scenes blog support staff, website designers, editors, TV producers, cameramen, translators, scribes, etc. All of these told stories that made their way to me and encouraged me.

It actually puts some courage inside of me. In the past encourage has been a soft, warm fuzzy word for me, but more and more I find it’s a necessity to continue living with the values, principles I have thought I believe in. Servanthood, meaningful gestures, actions, talking, and story-sharing all give strength and meaning.

What’s your story today? Will you share your story and encourage?


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