Ring ring ring the bell...
When walking through the lobby the other day, my attention was drawn to the bell on top of the piano. It reminded me of an artwork by David Shrigley who exhibited a very similar bell alongside a handwritten note saying “Not to be rung again until Jesus returns”.
I was alone in the steading, government restrictions have made it difficult for guests to come and stay and share in the beauty and stillness that this place offers as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and so I felt compelled to make an artwork of my own, amending slightly the wording on the accompanying note.
I don’t know if Shrigley’s sculpture was made as an act of faith on his part. A faith that those who pass by before the end of time will patiently leave the bell untouched until some future person heeds the instructions and uses the bell to proclaim the good news of Christ’s return at the end of time? It was perhaps Shrigley’s hope that he would one day be able to ring the bell himself?
Perhaps today the bell can be rung with joy and delight to proclaim that we are once again welcoming guests as we open our doors to NHS staff, all be it only briefly, for a day of relaxation and retreat from the pressures of work in the front line of humanity’s battle with this pandemic. Lets hope that as we too wait this advent to celebrate the coming of Jesus into this world, we will be able to ring out the bells soon, not just to proclaim the birth of Christ, but to also celebrate the time when we can once again welcome guests from far and wide.