Some of the most profound revelations of my adult life have happened in the confines of a garage.
I might even go so far as to call our garage Holy Ground — a sacred space without frills or decoration. Just four walls, four wicker chairs and four neighbors gathering as the moon rises on yet another Iowa night.
In the summer, the four of us open the windows to let in a cool June breeze, and to hear the coyote call. In the winter, we huddle closer, wear thick socks and turn on the heater in the corner.
When life gets crazy
Life happens in the garage.
or we need a gut check
or someone just needs a good cry
(or a good laugh),
the call goes out:
“I need my garage time.”
The four of us — my husband and I and the couple down the road — have been doing this for about four years now.
We have a motto: “What happens in the garage, stays in the garage.” Because in the garage, we’ve dealt with some pretty heavy stuff in our lives — the sort of stuff that you need to talk over with someone you can trust.
We pick the ugliest, dirtiest place of the house to “come clean” before God and before each other. We gravitate toward the garage. And we talk over the stuff of life.
Not the surface stuff, but the stuff underneath. The stuff that matters.
So this email came from the neighbors last night:
“Sis and Bro ~ are you available for garage time tonite? Just let us know.”
We had some things to discuss.
There’s just something safe about the garage.
Even Mother Cat knows it’s true. Yesterday morning, Scott left to do chores as the sun rose. He accidentally left the garage door open, and by the time I stepped into the morning air at 8 a.m., I could hear the high-pitched cry of four baby kittens in the corner. Their eyes were newly open. To them, everything in view was something new to behold.
Mother Cat had birthed these kittens weeks earlier, but we’d been unable to find them. With garage door open, Mother Cat carried each one in to this safe haven.
Now, they were here in my sacred space, making a furry nest in a tipped-over Rubbermaid container.
A hungry quartet
clinging to one another and
to the one who gave them life,
on my Holy Ground
seeing with new eyes.
And that’s where four friends found themselves as the sun disappeared over Iowa last night: on concrete-covered Holy Ground.
A hungry quartet, we were.
A nest of four,
clinging to one another
and to the One who gave us life,
who knew our needs before
we spoke them.
Our neighbor, Rob, pulled papers from a manila envelope. They were photos of the inside of Rob’s eye — medical evidence in our hands of the diagnosis he had received.
Rob, 41, found out he has an eye disease with progressive loss of vision, often ending in blindness. Here’s a guy who has 20/20 vision right now, but may be legally blind in a few years, depending on where this all leads.
We talked a lot about what he hopes to see between now and then. We talked about how the rest of us — with the blessing of sight — take it for granted. And we talked about how life in darkness doesn’t mean that we’re living life without The Light.
The soul has eyes of its own.
“We walk by faith, not by sight.” — 2 Corinthians 5:7
In one corner of the garage, four baby kittens saw a world with brand-new eyes.
In another corner, we did, too.
“What happens in the garage, stays in the garage” is our motto. Yet Gracious Rob allowed me to share his story here, so long as it would bring God glory.