A small but mighty group from the two UCC churches in Framingham gathered at noon today in the Bell Garden at our church to honor the forty-nine lives lost in the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando last year. Each of the seven in attendance took turns ringing the bell seven times (for a total of forty-nine). Though a quieter bell ringing than most taking place today the message of love and remembrance was very strong and clear indeed. xo
49 Bells to Remember Pulse
Let us ring one for tears, one for parents left,
one for lovers, one for siblings,
one for friends, one for friends never made.
Let us ring, and it is seven,
for the talents that will not be shared,
the music not sung, dinners not shared,
stories that will not be told,
the invention or the poem
which will not be.
Let us ring, and it is thirteen
for people who are afraid to go dancing,
for hatreds that are growing in secret,
for mental illness
which will not be treated
because of the selfishness of health care,
for ugliness wrapped in god-language,
for people who still think
their guns are more precious than neighbors,
and for even one person
who will not come out.
Let us ring and it is nineteen
for parentless children,
the empty spaces in pride parades,
for how Orlando
doesn’t mean Disney World
to anyone older than twelve,
and Pulse doesn’t mean
to most of us over sixty.
Let us ring twenty-five
because of grandmas,
twenty-six because of grandpas,
to include all the people
who brought flowers and signs
to the nightclub, wrote on Facebook,
said a prayer.
For the smallest of bells begins
the ringing of hope.
Let us ring one bell for every word –
this will not happen again.
And ring – courage, hope, pride,
compassion, gun control,
the healing of hatred,
the easing of fears,
the commitment to change.
Let us ring and it is forty-one
for the future of Orlando,
for the possibility of love, all kinds of love,
for the claiming of identity –
all that discovering
of what it is to be human,
for the welcome in faith communities
where everyone is safe.
Let us ring a rainbow,
ring so we will always remember,
and ring tomorrow.
And I will ring a bell for you,
if you will ring a bell for me.
-Rev. Maren Tirabassi