You are currently viewing The King of Junk
  • Post published:September 15, 2022

For over three hundred performances in multiple cities throughout the country I was privileged to share the stage with Barry Scott in Jim Reyland’s beautiful two-character play Stand. Once the lights faded at the end of each performance we embraced in a big manly hug. Barry would whisper, “I love you Chip Arnold.” And I would respond, “I love you Barry Scott.”
In those years of working together, we talked about our faith and what it meant to be broken men of God. How the shared stories of our lives were different but the same. How our faith informed our art. How our faith informed how we treat people. How, when we were together, just being in one another’s presence, we were better versions of ourselves.
The last time we spoke just days before his passing he said, “I got a story.” He was energized. His voice was a mere rasp of its former power, but the joy he felt at the moment gave him strength. “You ever hear of the Kings of Junk?” I told him no. “They came to my house today to clean out my garage. Before they were to arrive, I went out to the garage to open it up. I had to climb about three steps to get to the door to unlock it. I got to the steps and I couldn’t lift my leg to start to climb up. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t climb. I didn’t have the strength and my brain wasn’t communicating to my leg.
“I sat down and used my arms and climbed up the steps backward on my butt. But when I got to the door, I couldn’t stand up. I sat there and waited for the Kings of Junk to arrive. When they arrived the man in charge came around to the side entrance and I told him the situation. He asked what he could do for me. I told him I need to be carried into the house. So the King of the Kings of Junk wrapped his arms around me and lifted me up and he helped me back into my house.
“Once in the kitchen, the King held me. He just held me, until he gently sat me down in a chair. Then he knelt in front of me and looked into my face, really looked at me. He saw me, saw inside of me, saw the broken me, and he said, ‘Can I do anything else for you, Mr. Scott?’ I swear, Chip, it was like I looked into the face of Jesus.”
Barry and I concluded that men need to tell their own stories to one another. Men need to hear and know that they are loved by God and that they are loved by others. Men need to look other men in their eyes and ask is there anything else we can do for you? Men need to know that in weakness they have strength, in pain they have power, in sorrow they have joy, and in God they have love everlasting. That is the real story we all share.
Two years ago flights of angels welcomed Barry home. I can hear God saying to him, “I love you Barry Scott. Well done.”