The most powerful moment in the movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, happens
when, for a full minute, nothing happens.
In the scene leading up to the moment, Fred Rogers and a journalist are sitting in a downtown Chinese restaurant. The journalist is in crisis. “Mister” Rogers asks his struggling friend to join him in an exercise.
“We’ll just take a minute and think about all the people who loved us into being,” Rogers quietly suggests.
“I can’t do that,” replied his troubled friend.
“They will come to you,” he assures him. “Just one minute of silence.”
The camera slowly pans the restaurant. After a few moments, the camera shot rests on Rogers’ face. He turns his head ever so slightly until he is looking straight at the camera --- straight at us.
We are inside a full minute when no words are spoken. We notice how silence envelopes the restaurant and now, all of us in the theater. It is profound.
“Thank you for doing it with me,” Rogers says, “I feel so much better.”
Norma and I agreed. Unwittingly, we had participated in a moment of mindful meditation.
Mister Rogers did not ask us to be grateful for the people who come to mind in those 60 seconds. He simply asks us to be open to whoever comes. No judging.
I am thankful for this moment. I will use it as an Advent exercise. “Come, Lord Jesus,” I will pray. Then in the hushed reverence, I will listen, for a full minute.
Who knows? Maybe Jesus will be as far away as the word, “come.” And, perhaps, somehow I will feel so much better, resting in a minute of silence.
+ Pastor Steve Klemz
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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rocky Mountain Synod
ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
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