By Joseph J. Mazzella

I love the sound of ringing bells. The sweet music of church bells always brings a sense of peace to my souls. One of my favorite Christmas carols too is the Carol of the Bells. Even when I was a boy in 4-H camp I loved listening to the wonderful ringing of an old bell on a pole that would call us all to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I had a dream recently. I was walking alone in a beautiful meadow full of green trees and colorful flowers. The sun was shining bright in the sky and everything around me seemed to glow with light. As I reached the middle of the meadow I saw that old bell pole from 4-H camp. I laughed with delight, grabbed its rope and gave it a pull. The ringing was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. Then as I let go of the rope I saw my mom, dad, nana, and all of my friends and family who had passed from this world walking towards me. Their smiles were contagious. Their joy was infectious. Their love was unconditional. I could feel it all vibrating in my spirit. I knew that I was home. I reached out my arms to hug them all. Then just as I was about to speak to them I felt my dog’s wet nose on my hand, opened my eyes, and found myself back in this world again.

I couldn’t be mad at my dog. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stay there much longer anyway. I still had more to do here. I was grateful, though, for the little glimpse of Heaven I got that day. I knew too that the sound of ringing bells would always be even richer from now on.

I think that perhaps we are all bell ringers in this world. Every kind thing we do every helping hand we offer, every bit of love we share rings a bell that God and all of Heaven can hear. Ring your bell well then. Ring it loudly. Ring it often. Ring it with all the strength of your soul and love of your heart.

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