I haven't spent a whole lot of time thinking about it, but if I had thought about it, I wouldn't think that they still rang the church bells in my town regularly. I've not heard them ring in quite some time and although it always seems... great (or maybe even monumental) whenever I used to hear them, it's amazing how not hearing them seemed to completely escape my notice.
They were always appreciated, but somehow never missed.
Weary I was (and have been all week) as I shuffleed from my car to the house.
"Hi doogies" I mumbled to the too many dogs running around, through, and about my home -- is it a terrible thing that every time I pull into my driveway, I consider hitting one of them with my car? Not enough to really hurt them, but just to let them know that I can.
Gus jumped at my hand, biting slightly. I was just about to smack him away when I heard them and stopped, completely frozen.
At first it sounded like music coming from the inside of my car, but the longer that I stood there silent, the more clear the bells became and it didn't take long to make out the melody to "Jesus Loves Me".
The goosebumps were instantaneous, unexpected, and (I'm not sure yet) a little unwelcomed. That sort of struck me.
The song is so simple. It's a children's song, really (for those who are not familiar already).
The bells themselves bring a certain level of comfort, but the song was fitting as well.
I thought about a comment that my Art History professor had made during class the other week while discussing religious structures of the ancient world and the tradition that has carried on to build these structures high up or at least so that they reach up high (like a steeple).
She mentioned the temples and churches being a symbol of peace, tranquility, and a source of comfort for many people. This is still true today, of course, as evidenced by the fact that I felt comforted hearing the bells.
And yes, that is the feeling it was: comfort. Safety. Reassurance that there is this (oh dear - dare I say?) cosmic force "somewhere out there".
There is a God, and a creator, and a redeemer. There is a right and a wrong, and yes, Jesus does love me.
Faith is a crutch, isn't it? It's so damn easy to view this sentiment as weak, and unintelligent, and hell (!), slightly demented. Perhaps a little simple or naive. It's easy to think those things and I understand when people do. The fact of the matter is that faith is not really all that logical. Really, it's kind of the anti-logic.
But see, that's the point though, isn't it?
God's love vs. man's brain
Friends, I can battle logic; I enjoy doing just that in many other areas of my life. I can do that, and I'm O.K. with it.
I'm O.K. with Jesus being my crutch. And I suspect that Jesus might be pretty O.K. with it too (just wanted to use "O.K." one more time).
It's probably true that even people who don't consider themselves religious would find comfort and security in the idea of sanctuary.
It's probably true that many people, while they don't really feel like they "connect" with God, believe that God is there and perhaps even want to believe that they could connect with him if they wanted to.
I can see why a person would find a church - the representation of God's presence in the community - to be a comforting sight.
And I was comforted a little myself as I stood outside of my house, in the relative cold, to hear the rest of the bells.
My breath was slow and even as I watched it escape from my nostrils and disappear into the chilly night air.
This faith stuff... well, it seems silly sometimes. Really. I know.
But it's the only thing that's just totally beyond this world. Out of sight. Completely beyond any tangible experience here on this earth.
So simple that it's almost too difficult to understand.
And... well, that's the point.
Currently reading :
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
By Chuck Klosterman
Release date: By 22 June, 2004