The Mystery of the Hole

Now I entered the Kitchen, and would have passed through. But Keturah was there; so I waited: and she cast Divers Things into a Great Bowl, and did stir them with a Great Spoon.

And I asked her, saying, What hast thou in the Bowl?

And she said, Sugar and Spice, and all that's nice.

And I said, That is what God used when He made thee.

And she took the Dough out of the Bowl, when she had stirred it, and she rolled it with a Rolling Pin; and she cut it into round cakes. And a great Caldron hung above the Fire, and there was Fat therein and it boiled furiously.

And Keturah took the round Cakes of Dough, and cast them into the Caldron; and she poked them with a Fork, and she turned them, and when they came forth, behold I knew then what they were. And the smell of them was inviting, and the appearance of them was exceeding good. And Keturah gave me one of the Doughnuts, and Believe Me, they were Some Doughnuts.

And I said, To what purpose is the Hole? If the Doughnut be so good with a part Punched Out, how much better had it been if the Hole also had been Doughnut!

And Keturah answered and said, Thou speakest as a Fool, who is never content with the Goodness that is, but always complaineth against God for the lack of the Goodness which he thinketh is not. If there were no Hole in the Doughnut, then were it like unto Ephraim, a cake not turned. For, though the Cake were Fried till the Edges thereof were burnt and hard as thy Philosopher's Stone, yet would there be uncooked Dough in the middle. Yea, thou shouldest then break thy teeth on the outer rim of every Several Doughnut, and the middle part thereof would be Raw Dough.

And I meditated much on what Keturah had told me. And I considered the Empty Spaces in Human life; and the Desolation of its Vacancies; and how hearts break over its Blank Interstices. And I pondered in my soul whether God doth not know that save for these our lives would be like unto Ephraim.

And I spake of these things to Keturah, and she said, I know not the secret of these mysteries. Yea, mine own heart acheth over some of the Empty Places. But say unto those who are able to hear that the person who useth not the good things which he hath but complaineth against God for those he lacketh, is like unto one who rejecteth a Doughnut because he Knoweth not the Mystery of the Hole.

From Parables of a Country Parson by William E. Barton, edited by Garth Rosell and Stan Flewelling, copyright 1998, Hendrickson Publishers.


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