I was probably familiar with this song when I was a kid, but I recently ran across it again… for the first time. Its words of gratuitous unconditional love may seem a bit flaky at first, but if Mr. Rogers can’t pierce our cynicism, no one can! The lyrics are on par with that scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary when Mark Darcy tells Bridget Jones, “I like you very much. Just as you are.” (As opposed to who you think should be). Love that is not interested in attributes or works, but the person themselves, warts and all – we may not be terribly successful in loving one another this way (“all have fallen short of the glory of God”), but what good and miraculous news it is that God loves us in this way — not because of who we are, but because of who He is. A beautiful day in the neighborhood indeed! Here it is, “It’s You I Like” by Fred M. Rogers:

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.

As an added bonus, if you’ve never seen the footage of Mr. Rogers testifying before the Senate, it has to be seen to be believed! He cuts through the formalities and speaks to the heart in what can only be called a Christlike fashion: