The Bell Ringer

The Bell Ringer

Two centuries ago, we lived without electricity. Cell phones, the internet, satellites, and emails were not a twinkle in anyone’s eye. Communication among the villagers was done via the village church bell.    

Whether a wedding celebration, a funeral, the birth of a baby, or, a farm fire, a barn raiser, or, a grasshopper plague, one of the villagers (the bell ringer) rang the bell to inform neighbors near and far of the news.  

Once gathered in the village square, everyone would listen to see what part they could play. In the circle, one could see the baker, the cobbler, the doctor, the veterinarian, the schoolteacher, the librarian, the quilter, the fiddler, the minister, the innkeeper, and the café owner. Everyone knew his or her place in the village tapestry. Check out “A Place in the Choir” by Celtic Thunder.     

Then, like fireflies, the villagers went to work weaving their skills into the given situation. No one waited for anyone else to pick up the thread and tell them what to do. They just knew!   

What kind of villager are you?   

Are you the villager who immediately picks up the rolling pin, the shoehorn, the stethoscope, the dog leash, the chalk and slate, the dictionary, the loom, the violin, the hymnal, the desk bell, or the cash register? Or, are you the villager who stands on the outskirts of the square observing?  

If the latter, how do you feel watching your friends and family?  

Are you lonely?  

What’s your fear?  

What’s your ego telling you?  

Is it true?    

As you ponder your responses, I guarantee someone in your village is ringing their bell right here, right now! You may not recognize or hear the sound and/or it may be slight or thunderous; however, someone is signaling you for assistance.     

The question is, how will you respond?   

Each of us are villagers. We all are connected threads in God’s universal tapestry. We all need to be aware of our fellow friends and families. It’s our responsibility to step up and provide what skills we have and give them to others in love. Perhaps provide a May Day basket; take a walk with a friend; buy a stranger’s meal at your favorite restaurant; overtip; send an unexpected check to someone; or stop by unexpectedly and bring a cup of tea and time for a long chat. Your acts of love can go a long way to ease your fellow villager’s silent call for distress.    

I challenge you to walk boldly forward and do what is yours to do. The time is now! Don’t wait for someone else! It’s up to each one of you, my precious villagers to rise up. Call your villager! Communicate with them! Email them! Give them your bright beautiful threads of action. Make a difference in their quilt and change the way you see and change the way you live. 

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