Good Grief On The Garage Floor

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

A fresh layer of fluffy snow covered the ground, the driveway had been plowed and Kathy was still at school. That meant the Escape was gone and the time was right to cleanse the garage floor of snow and those dirty chunks of who-knows-what that fall from wheel wells and make a mess if left unattended. So I squeezed into my twenty year old faded and torn snowmobile suit and stepped into the garage.

In early 2005, after several weeks of testing, several Mayo clinic neurologists agreed that I had spinocerebellar ataxia of the degenerative type. The word “ataxia” means “absence or loss of order.” Based on testing and my past history, they assured me the degeneration would be very slow.

Planting both feet firmly on the floor to secure my balance, I pushed the broom forward. At the same time, the ataxia decided a little “loss of order” was in order.

Gazing up at the rafters, I took a quick inventory to see if anything was bruised or broken. Finding nothing, I explained to the Lord how much I did not appreciate what was going on.

In the midst of my upset, I recalled a line from the Christmas letter I received from Rosalee, a member of our writers group. She wrote: “Just because the stage is getting smaller, doesn’t mean the play has been cancelled.”

I’d be less than honest if I said that I’m happy to see my stage shrink. Each time loss comes calling I fuss, grumble, groan and complain. Each time my Father listens to my complaints, smiles, reminds me of His everlasting love and assures me my part of His show will never be cancelled.

Nor will yours, dear believer.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes it is easy to loose sight of Your plan and our part in it. We get confused when things change. Thankfully, we know, You never do. Amen.

Ken Miller is a legally blind, cancer survivor with spinocerebellar ataxia. He lives in northern Minnesota with his wife Kathy. He contributes to two church newsletters and has published the first part of his memoir; Out of the Fishbowl. He can be reached at