Sheriff Bells Struggling Heart: Bible Story


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The above quote gives an insight into Sheriff Bell’s belief that his daughter is in a good place. He talks to her as if she was his guardian angel and gives her the heart he always wanted for himself, meaning he confides in her, he tells her his deepest darkest secrets. She gets to see the genuine man he is, with no front, with no mask, the man he wishes everyone could see. Sheriff Bell yearns to believe she can somehow intercede for him and protect him if God in fact is real.

Even though he has had his share of good and bad things in life he acknowledges that God has blessed him in many ways, and a very important one, a good wife. Bell’s love for Loretta is immense and he considers himself lucky to have her: “Marrying he makes up for ever dumb thing I ever done”. Even though he has it good, he still believes it could be better. Just like the rest of humanity, it could always be better. He believes that if there was a God none of this chaos would prevail and perhaps the chaos of guilt in his conscience would not exist: “The world I’ve seen has not made me a spiritual person”. 

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It is almost as if he does not think he had the right to survive these many years with all that evil around him. Sheriff Bell has spent his whole life looking for a clear answer. He doesn’t have kids, he can’t seem to save the world, yet he’s still there. He wants to know of his purpose in life but struggles to see his triumphs by focusing on his failures and the negative change around him. What he does not realize is that what he’s been really looking for this whole time is a peaceful heart. He yearns for this God given peace.

Bell fears in silence throughout the novel but at the end he voices his fears by quitting his job. He doesn’t see the coming of Christ anytime soon and he knows he himself does not want to be corrupted. He fears he will become like those he would fight and kill if he stays doing his job: “I guess some things are better not put to the test”. Aged Sheriff Bell realizes the good old days have passed and this new chaotic world is not for him: “And I think a man would have to put his soul at hazard. 

And I wont do that. I think now that maybe I never would”. His last straw comes when he is required to “call it.” In the film and the book, he returns to the scene of the crime, where Moss got killed. Bell finds the door cylinder punched out, evidence that Chigurh has also returned. The film shows Chigurh waiting on the other side of the door as Bell hesitates to make a courageous entrance into the dark hotel room. This is in fact one of Chigurh’s coin toss. Bell decides to enter to find his life spared. Chigurh is not there. He looks around the room and the film shows a dime showing heads. Sheriff Bell gets to live another day. Thinking God does not see him this then proves that God does see him, he is being watched over.

Bell’s faith is indeed strengthened after visiting the hotel room, and he decides to live the rest of his days enjoying what is left of his life with his love, Loretta. At the end of the novel he sits at home with her reflecting on the dreams about his father: “I was on horseback going through the mountains of a night. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me kept on goin, Never said nothin. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carrying fire in a horn the way people used to do”. 

Waking up from his dreams he realizes he has gained peace and the answer he has been looking for, heaven exists, and God exists. His father in the dream is representative of God and is waiting for him in a good place. The dreams help him come to terms with his struggle with faith in God. Sheriff Bell could be considered the anti-hero. He is the man everyone can relate to; he never really interacts in action. Bell is the good guy with good intensions, even with self-doubt he can call himself courageous and wise. He might not be able to change the world, but he can change the way he looks at it.

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