Jeanne Marie Laskas once asked her friend Fred Rogers if the show was his church.
He thought a moment. He said it was easier to say what it wasn’t. It was not a show. He used the word “program,” never “show.”
“An atmosphere,” he said. What he was trying to create with “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was “an atmosphere that allows people to be comfortable enough to be who they are.” He continued: “I really don’t want to superimpose anything on anybody. If people are comfortable in that atmosphere, they can grow from there, in their own way.
“A lot of this — all of this — is just tending soil.”
Jesus told a parable about about a farmer who went out to sow seeds.
Some of the seeds fell along his path and got gobbled up by birds. Some of the seeds fell into rocks and sprouted almost immediately, but since they had no soil to take root, they scorched when the sun came out. Some of the seeds fell in deep, fertile soil, and those seeds took root and yielded much fruit.
I think Jesus may have left out at least one potential scenario: Later, the birds shit out the seeds, and by chance, some of them land in good soil elsewhere.
Sometimes I feel like, to quote Dylan, I’m just like that bird!
See also: Beautiful things grow out of shit