Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Salvation Army

Do you want to know what, for me, has been one of the hardest things about being a father? Well, too bad, I'll tell you anyway; it's dealing with the "noise toys." You know the toys whose main purpose is to make noise? They can drive a normal person (like me) insane, but apparently are entertaining for toddlers. Then there's the more ridiculous things, like the books that add sound effects. Why would anyone ruin a book this way?

So yeah, there are certain noises that really bother me. Wind chimes for instance. I hate them! We had a drummer at our church who had to use the chimes in every song...let me tell you, its difficult to focus on worshiping Jesus while at the same time thinking about strangling a drummer. (Relax! I'm kidding! Well, sorta.)

I'm guessing you've figured out where this is going. Yes, those bell-ringers. They drive me nuts. I always tell my wife that I'll donate if the STOP ringing the bells. In the December issue of The Covenant Companion there's an article by Beth Ernst called, "Christmas at the Kettle" where she recounts her experience working as a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. She received permission to, get this, sing instead of ringing the bell! It's a great little article in more ways than one. She talks about how she got to proclaim the gospel story over and over as she sung her hymns and carols, armed as she was with a collection of hymnals. She talks about the impact it had on people and the connections she made as a result.

I'm hoping the Salvation Army gets rid of the bells and turns to singing. Of course, it sounds like Beth was a good singer. Not everyone can sing whereas anyone can ring a bell. That leaves me with the question, which would be worse: listening to a bell, or someone singning off key? Yeah, I'll take the singer any day.

Merry Christmas.


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