anonymous comments

The anonymous internet came to Barking Reed and said to him: "uh... duh... I don't get it. The whole thing with the two circles is too confusing. A drum circle? Eating their children? I think maybe you should not be picking and eating your own mushrooms anymore."

And Barking Reed (who is really just Josh Barkey of Waxhaw, North Carolina) shook his head and chuckled. Spoke then he unto the anonymous internet, saying:

"Oh, you major sillypants. Is it not right in front of your freakin' nose? Let he or she who does not have gerbils-for-brains hear, and understand. The two circles are a metaphor. They are not supposed to be clear to anyone who demands the obvious: instead, they are supposed to be sideways explorations of the truth. To dissect this story would be to murder it.

"Nonetheless, it is my desire to be heard - so let me say it another way: The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a major, kick-bottom party. There is endless food and drink at this party, and yes, some of that drink is alcoholic. The whole party is one big stately pleasure God decreed. Not the sort of pleasure that's selfish and destructive and hateful, but the kind that is found only in the context of relationship, and being in right community by way of humility and grace. This is a creative community, the kind that grows, enables and loves.

"Everybody is invited to the party. Everybody. Period. The only thing they have to do to get in is accept the invitation, and no other invitee can question their right to be there. There is only one group of people that is not at the party, and it is comprised of those who will not enter. They are outside pouting, saying that it isn't fair that [insert whomever you don't like here] get to come to the party, and that until justice is served and these obvious miscreants are excluded, there is NO BLINKIN' WAY you'll ever catch them hanging out with the likes of those people.

"It doesn't really matter who you align yourself with, you can still choose to sit outside the party, pouting. Is it all them there homosexuals you don't want around? YerOUT! Is it all them there obese, consumer-addicted 'mericans? Be Ye Gone! If you want to join the party, you can't even sit around demanding the exclusion of people you perceive to be demanding the exclusion of someone else. Invitations and exclusions are strictly none of your freaking biznatch!

"I would like to admit (because I think it is true) that being at the party will change people in positive ways - that as they join in the community and get into the feel of it, they will grow to be more like the host of the party - but I can't. I can't because I know you'll just jump on that and somehow twist it back to mean some people won't be invited, and that you ought to decide whom. For you are a proud people, and very, very bland.

And then Barking Reed chuckled some more, and went back to eating pie.


  1. Have you ever read "The Brothers K" by David James Duncan? I think of this book every time I read your blog. It's on my top-20 list, I think I've read it more than ten times.

  2. I haven't, no. Thanks for the tip - I'll head over to Amazon and read the first three pages :)


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