What do people think of when they hear bells ringing? For many, they might think of the famous line from It’s A Wonderful Life, “Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.” In which case, believers and non-believers may not think much of bell-ringing. To those who don’t believe in angels, it means nothing; to those who do, this little rhyme is not doctrinally authoritative. But what do we think of when we hear bells?
I think that we generally think that bells are intended to draw our attention to something. A few months ago the Centennial school had a fundraiser, a spaghetti dinner with silent auction. Things went really well, and about 15 mins. before the end of the event my oldest son pulled the fire alarm (I think it was him). The alarm wasn’t the same kind of bell that I was used to, but it did its job. People fled the premises, and finding it freezing cold outside, went home. Effectively, the event was done. Sirens, alarms and bells all draw our attention. They demand we wake up, pay attention, take notice.
There are 1181 aboriginal women either missing or murdered in Canada. You may not consider that a large number, but it is. It is a statistically significant portion of our population, and the fact that it is drawn from one identifiable group is alarming. There’s that word. How many people are alarmed at this? How many people feel a discomfort in themselves, because this number continues to grow and the societal problems that are the underlying issue remain unaddressed? That’s why we ring bells. Because something’s going on that people need to be aware of, and about which something needs to be done. Let the clarion call of the bells awaken you to this reality. 19 minutes and 41 seconds of bells ringing is 1 second for each of these women. At noon on June 5, 12 and 19 (Fridays), and again on June 21 (a Sunday, but also National Aboriginal Day), hear the bells ring.