Authored by John Beehner, founder of Wise Counsel, a process for Christian Entrepreneurs and author of the new best seller “The Freedom Revolution...Rocking our World.”

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bells of Freedom by Bryan Ridenour

Zuzu Bailey: “Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”
George Bailey: “That's right, that's right. Attaboy, Clarence.”

I hear this dialogue every year as I lounge in front of the television, watching my favorite Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Yesterday, my family heard a bell ringing in the pediatric oncology clinic followed by raucous applause and cheering. My wife and son looked at each other, curious about the party-like happenings behind closed doors. I happened to know the reason for the celebration. 

Every time a pediatric patient completes his or her prescribed course of treatment, the cancer survivor rings the bell and general hoopla erupts!  

As the party winded down, a child-life specialist walked through the waiting room and looked at Noah. “That’s going to be you in a few months.” She smiled. I secretly wished for a time machine….

After a few minutes, a nurse pulled Noah's chart and called his name. There, beside the bell, stood the girl celebrating. The medical staff swarmed around her, family members flanking her on both sides. The girl pulled the rope and rang the bell once more. Everyone cheered again for good measure.

That bell signified a milestone.
That bell announced the finish line.
That bell celebrated life.
That bell proclaimed freedom...

Freedom from lab draws, intravenous chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, and neutropenia.  Freedom from medicine induced nausea and monthly clinic visits.  Freedom from unexpected and ofttimes   violent side effects stemming from varied treatments.

Freedom to return to a semblance of normalcy.  Freedom to participate in large group activities like AWANA, Upward Basketball and Sunday School.  Freedom to crawl around in germ laden plastic tubes at local fast food restaurants. 

Freedom to be a child.

In some ways, that young lady sprouted wings yesterday. I do not know her religious affiliation or background, but I do know this, if she knows Christ, a certain passage from the Bible speaks relevantly to her situation: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)

Yesterday a bell rang, and a young lady strapped on her wings.
Today, she soars....

This post was authored by guest blogger Bryan Ridenour, a Christian, a husband, a father of four, and a music/youth pastor.  To learn more about him, visit his blog at


  1. Bravo Bryan! I have heard of these celebrations and I can only imagine the anticipation for that day to come. The strength and perseverance in those kids is nothing short of exceptional and worthy of our prayer and praise. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jhoover,
    Thanks for the comment. My wife and I anxiously await the day our son grabs the rope and rings that bell.
    God Bless,

  3. I have several friends going through this and pray they too can step into the freedom from chemo and needles and the multilple doctor visits!
    I will pray for your son. Thank you for sharing a beautiful post!

  4. Kristin,
    Thanks for stopping in and leaving words of encouragement. I will pray for your friends as well.

  5. What a beautiful, heartfelt post! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful perspective.

  6. Bryan,

    Thank you for sharing this hope-laced story in the midst of your personal struggle with your son's cancer.

    Praying that he will soon experience the freedom of which you write so beautifully and also know the love and grace of our Lord in a way that he would not have experienced apart from his illness.

  7. Sharon and WileenRife,
    Thanks for taking time to comment and to share words of encouragement. May God bless you both in this New Year!

  8. What a beautiful celebration of freedom! I pray that your sweet son soon experiences that same freedom.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. And thanks for praying for my son!
      God bless.