I first noticed parking lots when we moved to Wheeling. Our condo is across the street from . It has a great trail. I can ride my bike through forest, alongside the Des Plaines River, across three scenic bridges, and end up at  within an hour. The trail starts in the parking lot off Dundee Road. The lot is a hang-out for men sitting in cars backed into parking spaces. I never understood why, until I learned that it’s a pick-up spot for gay guys looking for action. It’s an asphalt

So many stories of lonely people, scared people, and people who hurt, using their cars to deal with what life is dishing out. But, good stuff is happening to people sitting in parking lots too. We got a call from our son Mike, who is considering two job offers in New York. The phone call took place in the parking lot of ; dinner was delayed. I have a neighbor who is a party planner. There isn’t a week that goes by, where you don’t see Barbara doing business in her SUV, grabbing the last bit of cell phone reception before pulling into our garage. My son Craig, is in outside sales. He has an on-dash TV, , books on CD, and his in the front seat of his truck. He sits in parking lots between sales calls and makes the most of every minute of his time.    

I guess that’s the point: making good use of what’s ours; finding a quiet spot where we feel safe. After all, for many of us, a car is the one item we couldn’t do without. It takes us to work, drives the kids to school, and it brings our parents to doctor appointments. It’s bound to be the backdrop for personal drama. It’s common for our car to be the place where we had a fight with someone we love. It’s the place where we were, when we “got the news.” It’s the place where we find ourselves with a few extra minutes to just sit and think. Or pray. 


It's everywhere.
Sitting on the bus
or driving in the car.
Waiting at the deli counter,
number 56 in hand.
Who knew 3 pounds
of lean corned beef
could get me closer
to the promised land?

Trapped inside the dentist's chair,
my eyes glued shut,
I give my heartfelt thanks,
and it doesn't hurt as much.

Finding time to pray
is not as hard as I thought.
Whether I'm kneeling in front of my bed,
or elbow deep in soapsuds
at the kitchen sink,
You hear me, always.


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