A bell, and hands. Things that whisper to a special spot in my soul. Mystery, depth and meaning.Maybe you have your own.
I have a bell collection that started many years ago in a shop in Denver. Sweet sound, good feel in my hand and that brass bell with two Dutch figures became mine.The collection isn't large but each one is a comfort to me. I have a small brass one shaped like a pagoda with a cross on top. A rich sound and shape that speaks to me of the simplicity of Buddhist thought and the redemption of Christ.
In Mass, we used to ring three bells when the priest would elevate the Host. The bells said ;"Pay attention. Something different, otherworldly is happening here.The air has changed, can you feel it ?"
I thought of all of this after going to a rally for religious freedom last night. A young speaker mentioned the Cristeros rebellion in Mexico in the early 1920s.This terrible time has been dramatized in the movie, "For Greater Glory". A new regime began its rule in Mexico and the leader was a secular atheist. His desire was to transform society and he needed to break the influence of the Church to do this. One of his dicta was" no more bells",she said. I was puzzled by this.But this morning, I thought,"Of course.The bells mean the air has changed, there is mystery, pay attention." And we know that in the secular world this is nonsense.
In early winter of this year, I was on my bench in the woods praying for my unborn granddaughter.This was a new pregnancy and there had been bleeding and uncertainty. As I prayed for angels to surround her, this most unforgettable scene unfolded before me. A stream of ancestors on either side of my daughter-in-law, each having a turn at laying their hands briefly over her womb and then stepping aside.I could see people from all the places that our ancestors had come from, a steady line with only this in their minds: a deep desire that this child be born and continue the collective efforts of thousands before.I could sense how precious she was to them. Maddie.
And then something happened, the meaning of which only became clear to me as I write; a bell rang lightly in this vision and all the ancestors, their work done, disappeared.The air cleared and the otherworldly had stepped away.