On certain weekday mornings, seated at my desk in the office, I hear the gentle tolling of bells at the nearby Lutheran church. Mingled with the moods and sentiments of the George Eliot novel Scenes of Clerical Life, an audio-book I enjoyed for the past week, the sounds harken forth images of peaceful daily routines. It is sweet to imagine a community in which the services and holidays of the church command part of everyone’s schedule.
There is also restfulness in the sound of bells. The distance of a few blocks muffles them, making them much gentler than they sound at the foot of the bell tower. They remind us that a service of morning or noon prayers, usually sparsely attended, is beginning or ending. Mentally, I enter the quiet, dim sanctuary with the faithful few. There are soft colors of light glimmering through high windows. Men clothed gracefully in priestly garb move quietly about the alter, making small last minute preparations.
From my lonely office desk I wish that I could participate in that communal stillness at the church.
Kneeling, repeating, confessing, requesting, praising, hoping, trusting, feasting, all with fellow believers by my side, led by holy, ordained helpers.
May God bless me with the like some day.