An atheist was taking a walk through the woods. ‘What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!’, he said to himself.
As he continued walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes. Turning to look, he saw a 7 foot grizzly charging towards him.
He ran as fast as he could up the path. Looking over his shoulder he saw that the bear was closing in on him. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster.
He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear raising his paw to take a swipe at him.
At that instant the atheist cried out: ‘Oh my God!…’
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.
It was then that a bright light shone upon the man and a voice came out of the sky saying:
‘You deny my existence for all of these years, teach others I don’t exist and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?’
The atheist looked directly into the light.
‘It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps, could you make the BEAR a Christian?’
‘Very well, ‘said the voice. The light went out, and the sounds of the forest resumed.
Saved by the Bell?
In 18 century England they started running out of places to bury people. Consequently, people would dig up coffins and take the bones to a ‘bone-house’ and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they clergy decreed that they should tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the grave yard all night (the ‘graveyard shift’) to listen for the bell.
Thus, someone could be ‘saved by the bell’. Also they could be considered a ‘dead ringer.’
After Quasimodo’s death, Bishop Thomas of the cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bell ringer was needed. The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process.
After observing while several applicants demonstrated their skills, he decided to call it a day.
Just then a lone, armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bell ringer’s job.
Bishop Thomas was incredulous. ‘You have no arms.’
”No matter,’ said the man, ‘observe!’ He then began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon. The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced that he had finally found a suitable replacement for Quasimodo. Suddenly, while rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.
The stunned bishop immediately rushed down the stairways. When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, ‘Bishop, who was this man?’
‘I don’t know his name,’ the bishop sadly replied, ‘but his face rings a bell.’