It was exceedingly rare for me to wake up to hear the bells ringing in the local village church. So I was mildly surprised, one wet, wintry day, when that was exactly what happened. Above the sound of the heavy rain falling onto the roof, I could just make out the almost monotonous tone of the bells in the distance, calling the faithful to pray in that House of God.
I sat up for a short while, intrigued by the sound. I am not one for rising early when I donít have to, but there was something about the combination of sounds that was peaceful and relaxing.
You might think me a little strange. After all, sitting and listening to the rain fall and distant bells ring is hardly anyoneís idea of fun. However, for me, it gave a small sense of calm. The weather seemed to mimic my own feelings of melancholy.
Blinking slowly, I reached under my pillow and pulled out a small envelope. It was not addressed, but I knew its contents well. A short, but heartfelt, letter, which I had written but hadnít found the nerve to send. I blinked tears away from my eyes as I recalled the words I had penned, and the depths of sorrow and despair which had inspired me to put them to paper. I wanted quite badly to send it, but one hurtful image prevented me. I knew the reaction of its recipient would be less than favourable.
Stuffing the letter under the pillow once more, I slowly climbed out of bed and pulled on a bathrobe, before walking over to the window to glance outside. Strange, I thought, that a sound which could once bring me so much joy and excitement only caused me great pain now. As a more innocent being I had loved the distant tolling of those bells. I used to run out into the garden every Sunday morning just to listen to them. But life can sometimes be painfully cruel. I had lost that feverish need to hear the sound I once loved. I blocked it out of my life as much as possible.
I blinked away tears as the stinging in my chest became unbearable. I had tried everything, and still the pain would not stop. I opened the window, allowing the brisk morning air to fill my room. How easy would it be to put an end to my heartache right then and there? I felt certain I would not be missed. Even if I was, those few would soon move on without me. Their lives would not be burdened by my own miseries, leaving them free to live their lives without a care for the sorrowful creature I had become.
Someone once told me that God will never force me to suffer more than I can bear. But I know, in this instance, he had greatly overestimated my strength, and the cost of his mistake is very high indeed.