Beautiful Boisterous Bells

There’s that old song by Trini Lopez called “If I Had a Hammer” which says in part:  

“If I had a bell  

I’d ring it in the morning  

I’d ring it in the evening  

All over this land  

I’d ring out danger  

I’d ring out a warning  

I’d ring about the love between my brothers and my sisters  

All, all over this land.”   

People always say stop and smell the roses. Yet, what about the other sights and sounds of the world that we turn ourselves off to? Shouldn’t we stop and hear the bells too?   

This week, I was blessed to hear the beautiful boisterous bells from three different churches. The first was a set of bells that dong from the Catholic Basilica downtown. I was in a car with a friend of mine. As we approached the corner, we both stopped talking, rolled our windows down, and were mesmerized by the loud boisterous sound! So gorgeous! The clanging of the bells reminded me of the huge bells in the church towers in Europe- Notre Dame or the St. Peter’s Basilica. We both were in silence and awe! I had no idea that Denver had such beautiful bells. What a treat!  

The second set of bells was from a Catholic church in my neighborhood. As I neared the church, I put my Seeing Eye dog at sit and listened to the fifteen minutes of hymns. They were not as massive as the ones downtown, yet beautiful nevertheless and worth the pause.  

The next day, as I stepped outside my apartment building, I heard the third set of church bells chiming a beautiful hymn. This church is directly across the street. They play hymns Monday through Friday at noon and 5:00 P.M. I always feel blessed and a connection to God when I happen to be in the right place at the right time. Though different from the other two, all three sounding of the bells were beautiful!    

I wondered, how come the ringing of the boisterous bells was in my presence three times in one week! Was I taking the sounds of the world for granted?  

Did I need to stop and listen to the bells?  

Did I need to be more beautiful and boisterous in my own life?  

The bells, the birds, the children laughing at play, the dogs barking, the people laughing, the pounding of hammers, the hum of lawnmowers, all are inviting and waiting for the senses to stop and take notice.  

Too many times we walk by these treasures. We’re too busy! I think these little sound pauses are there to bring us to our senses, to God, to the good in the world. Stopping and listening to the beautiful boisterous bells is a part of loving ourselves!  

Using my imagination, I noted, if I were a bell, I’d ring in the morning and the evening. I’d feel empowered to use my divine gifts and ring as wild and boisterously as possible. I would clang boldly for I’d know God’s power and strength are mine. I’d know I was blessed with a rich imagination and the power of will to dream big. I’d live my bell life to the fullest and boldest! And, I’d ring out danger, and warnings, and ring about the love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land.   

So, why not be a bell?   

What’s stopping you from being beautiful and bold?  

What’s stopping you from ringing the music you came to ring?   

As you ring your unique boisterous beautiful bell song, stop and listen to the other bells when you hear them ringing. Stop and listen to the children playing! Stop and listen to the birds singing! When you stop and listen to the bells, you’re listening to God’s voice whispering for you to listen to him. When you stop, truly stop, and listen, you are truly changing the way you see and changing the way you live! 

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