Awakening a Keen Observer

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


My husband's great Aunt Belle was visiting us when we lived in NW Kentucky along the border with Illinois and Indiana. She was a missionary in India and had begun a children's home for the children of leper parents. (She and her brother John Taylor and his wife Elizabeth began these homes.) Aunt Belle was traveling across country by bus and enjoyed every minute of the trip because she could tell people about Jesus.
As we drove from one of our churches to another she looked out at what were very modest homes and farmland and she said, "There will be a reckoning." It was not a loud proclamation but it had the force of thunder in its meaning.
She had seen and lived in the world where there was not such personal abundance. Where individuals worked for a little bread not so much that it had to be discarded. She shared all she had with everyone she met and then was ready to provide for their spiritual need as well. She was a beautiful woman in every way, every way that mattered. Her love for Jesus and her daily walk with him inspires me still.
And her words, There will be a reckoning, echo in my heart when I hear of injustice, or see poverty, or look at the abundance in which I live and realize that what is really important to me are not the treasures of my own choosing but the love that I have received and continue to recieve from God.
Her words also bring me comfort as well as challenge. Comfort because when there is injustice and it looks like someone is 'getting away with' something I hear her words. There will be a reckoning... Not of my own doing but of God's plan.
This is the scripture reading from the PCUSA website the evening psalm NRSV
vening: Psalms 28:1-9
1To you, O LORD, I call;
my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
for if you are silent to me,
I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
2Hear the voice of my supplication,
as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
towards your most holy sanctuary.
3Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbours,
while mischief is in their hearts.
4Repay them according to their work,
and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.
5Because they do not regard the works of the LORD,
or the work of his hands,
he will break them down and build them up no more.
6Blessed be the LORD,
for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
7The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
8The LORD is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
9O save your people, and bless your heritage;
be their shepherd, and carry them for ever.

thanks Be to God
Bobbie McGarey

Monday, June 28, 2004

Hungry hearts

The PCUSA has a group of dedicated people who oversee the spiritual development of the people and produce a newsletter called Hungry Hearts This prayer is from the summer edition. May it bless you.

A PRAYER FOR RENEWAL Lord, my spirit has been wounded, heal me. My heart aches from the undoing, renew me. My body is weary from everday life, strengthen me. My soul is dry and parched, revive me. My joyous laughter has been squelched, restore me. My faith in mankind has been shaken, return me to you. My love for others is so distant, bring me back to them. Grant me your peace, Lord, that I may know you are near. Take away my fear about the future, and remind me that you, my Creator, have me in the palm of your hand. Be with me in the days ahead as I walk into the unknown, believing that your love and mighty healing is greater than any affliction I bear. Love me, Lord, into healing places, into your grace and let me rest in you. AMEN Erin Thomas Jeremiah 29:11-14

"Our souls are restless till they rest in God!"

God abide
bobbie mcgarey

Misty Morning

We slept out on the hill one night at the camp in Pennsylvania. It was great fun. We planned to do it because there was a full moon. Wow was there a full August moon. It was awesome. We had waited for the moonrise and were not disappointed. In fact, we ended up having to move to the porch to sleep because it was just so very bright once it was up we couldn't sleep. The meadow where we were was beautiful in the moonlight. We sat up and talked. The girls remembered that for the whole week.

The morning came and we looked out from the porch to see the meadow now covered with thick dew. It was wetter than rain because it clung to each plant. There was a mist that kept you from seeing down the hill. One of the girls said it was like the world in moonlight in the daytime. An apt description.

The mist this morning and the heavy dew reminded me of that day many years ago. That un-clarity about the world or what is happening in the world. That uncertainity about things that are familiar.

Today, I wish you clarity about your life and what is going on. I wish you joy when you discover the realities. And yet... I wish you the softness of the moonlight and the peacefulness of a misty morning.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Sunday, June 27, 2004

long days

In late afternoon it is hard to tell what time it is because of the length of days. It is not as if with long days that gives us more time to relax, unless we chose to do so. It is that we are to enjoy the light.

John and I ate dinner the other night sort of based the time on the light, it was the first day of summer and really late.

But God's good time is neither late nor early. It is perfect. And the fun of it is that we will see what it is that God has before us and For us in God's good time.

Enjoy the length of days, and your own, length of days.

God Abides
Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


The Presbyterian Church USA is meeting this coming week in Richmond Va. The theme that All may have life in it's fullness. From the Gospel of John 10:10. It is a wonderful time in the church because we are almost always surprised by God. We pray for those who have been elected as Elders and ministers to represent their Presbyteries and we know that they will do so with great dedication. We believe and trust that the Spirit is present in the midst of this assembly and that the work they do will be for the Good of the Kin-dom of God.

What would the world look like if we lived into this?
Oh Beautiful for spacious skies for a world that's free of fear.
For homes for every one who lives and no one with a tear.
Dear God we pray, let your love be the guiding force around.
Let hope prevail, let love remain the law around the world.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

I'm going to be away from a computer for a couple of days so I'll be Back Sunday. Be well and happy!

Feed the Birds

John and I put a bird feeder outside the dining room window to watch the birds as we eat together. These are hungry birds! We have to take some responsibility for this because we've been feeding them for some time. We've trained them to look there for food. When the feeder is empty there are a couple of birds who seem to sit near the window and draw our attention to the empty feeder. That's giving a lot of reasoning ability to these birds. I have to admit perhaps I am the one that is trained--by the birds! Feeding them is good and bad perhaps. We have eased their hunt for food, but have we thereby made them dependent on it?

Some times I think we are like these birds. We become accustomed to certain things and then we have this feeling of entitlement. You've known people like that, children and adults. These folk, and I dare say there is some of this in all of us, expect everything to be on their time, their way, their schedule. And when it doesn't happen we get noisy.

What if we practiced getting noisy for others? What if we saw our job in the world to be keenly alert and watching for ways we can get noisy for those who are left out, pushed out, talked out, turned away? It could change the world.
Let's go for it.
Watch now... and bring voice to the voiceless.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bigger than us

Our daughter is on the phone with some friends of hers who are in Japan. Japan the country. They have a great deal on phone calls and can talk for some time.
What this reminds me of is that the world is bigger than me. It is bigger than my concerns, it is bigger than my little concerns or troubles, it is bigger than anything that has to do with me alone. And some times we lose that perspective.

John one time said that the teen years were like looking down a long tunnel and there is a mirror at the end. One takes time in adolesence to focus on one's self with the world shut out. We are surprised to grow up finally and figure out, it's not really ALL about us. (Some people take that enlightenment better than others! Sometimes I think that some people don't ever get it.)

Sometimes we think, oh it doesn't matter if I spend XX amount on something for myself, an indugence, because, well hey, I've got the money even though I don't really need ....

But what we forget is that there are people who don't have the money, not for extras, but not even for essentials. We forget that our little somethings, even though they are small can add up to huge amounts. It's like the time that we emptied the Oatmeal box we'd thrown change in for several years and had $70 dollars in there. That's enough to take care of two childen for a month in India.

Two kids, a month!

See God has put us here in a place that is bigger than us in every way. Bigger than us and the needs are not bigger than we are if we worked together, where we are in our own towns, or reached around the world....To someone over there and with even the smallest gift said.
..Jesus loves you.

It's not about us.
And that really should be good news.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Sunday, June 20, 2004


Elijah found God in Silence. I suppose it is more congruent to write about silence, because the words are only in our heads not spoken. It's hard to talk about silence. We should experience it. Live it in places where there are too many words.

So pretend you are reading for another 10 minutes and instead abide in the silence of God's love and glory..

Don't short change yourself ...use all the time.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Saturday, June 19, 2004


A few years ago there was a movie out called Smallville. It was about a place where everyone was the same. People looked, acted, dressed the same and thought the same. The Movie was in black and white. There was an agreement that this was the way it was to be. In the movie two 'outsider' kids are plopped into this scene and the whole town changed. They appeared to conform at first but then began breaking the rules. When others broke the rules the scene, or the individual suddenly had color about their skin, or their clothes, or the world around them. Everything shifted.

Life changes. We are changing human beings. Our bodies become new and different and we even have new cells. We are part of the life force on this planet and what we do matters. How we live our lives, matters. How we take care of ourselves and our neighbors matters. And I think what Jesus called us to in the fullness of life --to provide the fullness of life for all people-- was to live our lives in full color! Not to be bland and colorless but for each individual to be full of life and joy and hope and delight. We help others achieve this by sharing what we have and by leading lives to the fullest in the way we give to others.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian church begins meeting next week and the theme is "That all may have life in its fullest." In one part of the Bible study there is a quote..
"The church is people with Jesus at the center, traveling wherever Jesus takes us." (General Assembly of the Church of Scotland".

Let's not just define church, let's live it!

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Friday, June 18, 2004

Lost and Found

I went to look for something I thought I might have lost at Dillards in OKC and the kind lady brought up a big shoe box full of things that had been turned in. There were about 9 or 10 cell phones. The cell phones were really expensive ones too. There were lots and lots of car keys, some with the electronic lock system on them. --- Really a lot of car keys. We looked through the box but alas what I sought was not there.

I was also impressed that so many of these things had acutally been turned in..that's a lot of honest people.

In a world when we hear of horrible things happening between people and to people--- we want to believe that basically the people in the world are
"in-deed" and indeed GOOD. We want to believe that people are kind and want the best for others. These are the kind of people we want around us.

But in community we ALSO want to BE the kind of people that others want to be around. We don't gather in worship for ourselves but for all those who also worship with us. We gather becuse God has called us by name and asked us to be there with one another to rest in the Word and to celebrate the goodness of God's love for all of creation. Jesus' work was not hidden behind doors in safe paces but out in the world and our work is called to be at the same place. Jesus work was not with the famous and important, it was with the most vulnerable. Jesus' work was rarely with individuals...but in community. Sometimes it was a community created by his action toward someone who was an outcast. In God's reign there are no outcasts.

We work on creating community which in so many ways speaks of the world as God desires it to be. When we work for this new world we are no longer lost...we are found!

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Good Work

We all seem to be able to define our selves and lives on the 'busyness' scale. We go and do and meet and talk and eat and go and do and eat and meet and.... and then we fall exhausted into our beds for rest. We seem to honor those who seem so busy that they just don't have time for.... whatever.
Now this is to say that we might want to consider honoring our lives more. We would take a breath and relax while we wait in whatever line, (always the longest most delayed) and we even add to the tension of where next as we wait there.

What does constitute good work. That is Good Work that brings to us energy not energy draining. Joan Chitterster writes, "Good work that leaves the world softer and fuller and better than ever before is the stuff of which human satisfaction and spiritual value are made." (Spiritual Literacy). I think she's got it right.

We can define, enhance, understand, recognize good work when we see it, but hopefuly when we are out doing this good work. It's important to know how to know when we are in the presence of Good work.

Jesus was never too busy to stop and heal someone or talk with them and then go on his way. . What joy that this is the possiiblity for change for ourselves, finding peace and deep satisfaction, and gifting the world.

God abides

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Grace and Peace

OK I know --I have looked at the calendar-- and I do KNOW it's not December. The Air conditioning lets me know that. I did pick up a CD and put it in to play while I worked on the sermon. I got all settled at the computer before it started and I heard which one it was.

Noelle noelle the angel's did say... was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay.

that line has so many important parts to it for us no matter the time of year.
Joy joy we ought to have in our hearts all the time. We ought to listen to the angels' voices, those friends sent to us to bring us direction, we ought to listen to them and know that God's presences is always with us... but why did the angels sing? To certain---to steady---to comfort--- poor shepherds in the fields where they lay watching their flock by night. Poor shepherds, not royalty, not the ones who were in prayer, not to ones even expecting the miracle, not to the wealthy, not to the healthy, or folks working to earn God's favor---just some shepherds. asleep, bot even being alert at their job,

So be listening for God's voice to reminding you of God's presence in your life even when you feel as outside of it all as the shepherd's may have felt.

Now you see, in June or July or Deep December, God abides and we thank God.
turn on some Christmas carols, listen ..for God's word to you.

God Abide
Bobbie McGarey

Monday, June 14, 2004

Solid Rock

What is faith?
The Poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, "Nothing before, nothing behind;
the steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath."

What a challenge faith can be. Jesus called everyone to live into that faith. The woman who washed his feet with her tears was forgiven because of her faith. Peter stepped out of a boat and walked on water, (a step or two) because of his faith. The
poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, "Nothing before, nothing behind;
the steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath."

It sounds so easy doesn't it? I mean really. We are called to live lives that risk. The woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears risked her life going into the house of the pharisee. She was a known sinner and she could have been arrested by the religious hierarchy for her behavior. Peter saw Jesus and wanted so much to be led by him that he walked out on the water and for a minute knew what it was to let go and be freed by Jesus' love. Jesus calls us to risk, to walk, perhaps to weep, and to be the children of God we were all created to be.

So, today, what are you going to do that shows the world you are a person of faith? How are you going to live into your faith--in the sure and certain knowledge of God's love for you?
The word Faith is used 227 times in the New Testament NRSV, 32 of them in the Gospels.
Step out... nothing before ---but God, nothing behind --- but God
Remember the hymn line, "On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand."
Step out.

God abides
Bobbie McGarey


'Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
Victor Hugo

Even in the toughest times God abides and is awake. And that should give us courage to go and do what we need to do and to be who God creates us to be.

Jesus said often, Be not afraid, God's angels said the same message. So, this day, let's be courageous in sharing God's love with those who seem to treasure fear. Let us instead treasure God's presence with us always...

God abide
bobbie mcgarey @2004

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Amazing giving

We had some friends years ago who would give one another amazingly expensive gifts. We realized that we could spend our time comparing the 20$ watches we had given one another,(2 for 20) with the watches they exchanged that cost more than our car. And we might just feel not so good about our gifts anymore.

But imagine if you will the scene from tomorrow's scripture where the woman, lets down her hair, and annoints Jesus' feet, and wipes them. Her hair down means that she is not a woman of great reputation, one wore their status opently, and she was giving Jesus an amazing gift.

And he even more amazingly accepted it.

What extravagance! How over the top. This oil must have cost her a lot of money. But even more, her sitting at his feet, a place of honor, reserved for the top student with a rabbi, was what makes this story so wild and crazy. I mean what nerve.

And Jesus, teacher always, doesn't rebuke the one who questions the woman, he teaches him with a parable, a mirror to his own action. And all learn.

When we give the best we have to Jesus we will feel the best we've ever felt.
God abides

bobbie mcgarey

Friday, June 11, 2004

Global ritual

I've done a lot of study on ritual. I know how we human beings are seemingly naturally drawn to using action to mark time. And that marked time becomes more hallowed. As Presbyterians we claim some, but not an over abundance, or so we think, of ritual. But we do have words we say for particular action at particular time. We do have actions to mark special moments. Ritual makes a difference ---especially in transitions -- on how we move forward and heal and learn .

The US nation and I image others around the world have watched and thereby participated in the ritual of honoring a past president. We recognize prayers, we heard words spoken about him and to him and for his family and the nation. We heard cannon's fire, bells ring, and jets stream overhead. We heard hymns and songs to mark a presidental life. And we heard a widow whisper thank you to the minister who gave the final words.

Ritual drew the world together when Princess Diana died, and when Mother Teresa of Calcutta died the same week. Two women so very different. One blessed with riches and beauty and servants to care for her, and the other blessed with riches and beauty of heart and a Servant herself for God. One died with a palace of things left behind the other with two sweaters, one pair of sandles and her bible and rosery. Which one the richer? Easy question.

I think these kinds of global rituals with presidents and princesses and saints make us wonder, what if anything, people will say about us when we die? What good will remain in the world because we were here? Who did we touch or inspire or help or hurt...and is that all ok.

God wants from us not to live our lives so that we will also get to heaven. But God wants us to live our lives out of thankfulness for all God has already given us. What ritual will mark our passing? How will we help others think of our lives and say, "thanks be to God". Mark well the time.

As I say each week. Go in peace to love and serve Jesus.
God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Two psychiatrists and a faithful woman write about honesty. Their perspectives are amazingly close. Jung and Freud write from looking at a human from the outside in...trying to get into that deepest level of the psyche. Mother teresa on the other hand writes from the inside out. Looking at the soul of a person as it illumins the world around them she saw great beauty and pulled out of others that God given beauty that resides within each of them.
Jung and Freud's words challenge us to be sure. But Mother Teresa's stop us from pretending that we really can hide. She was a most congruent person, what you saw in her was who she was. Vulnerable and powerful beyond measure at the same time.
I say it often. Jesus knows us and loves us still. So why not be vulnerable...And free?

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

The Virtues

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.
Carl Jung

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.
Sigmund Freud

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.
Be honest and transparent anyway.
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Time for an Ark

Oh I did have to write about a gentle rain didn't I. We got a bunch of gentle rain, several inches I hear. It really did come down all day in Duncan, Temple and Walters, and inbetween.

Here's a poem by Ogden Nash

A Watched Example Never Boils
The weather is so very mild
That some would call it warm.
Good gracious, aren't we lucky, child?
Here comes a thunderstorm.

The sky is now indelible ink,
The branches reft asunder;
But you and I we do not shrink;
We love the lovely thunder.

The garden is a raging sea,
The hurricane is snarling;
Oh, happy you and happy me!
Isn't the lightning darling?

Fear not the thunder, little one.
It's weather, simply weather;
It's friendly giants full of fun
Clapping their hands together.

I hope of lightning our supply
Will never be exhausted;
You know its lanterns in the sky
For angels who are losted.

We love the kindly wind and hail,
The jolly thunderbolt,
We watch in glee the fairy trail
Of ampere, watt, and volt.

Oh, than to enjoy a storm like this
There's nothing I would rather,
Don't dive between the blankets, Miss!
Or else leave room for Father.

happy day, bring an umbrella!
Bobbie McGarey

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Gentle Rain

As a change today the rain came gently, no big rushing wind or pounding hail, just a gentle rain.
So some days are like that. A gentleness of life of the world opening up to us and bringing new life and renewed life. I am always amazed how flowers actually perk up with a little water. Would that we would also perk up when we open our eyes to the gentle breath of the Spirit so Holy that God sends to us each day.

Would that on our droopiest days, we would find that God's Spirit would lift us up when we remember it. And why wouldn't we ..remember?

Fix something in your world that reminds you, of the gentleness of God's spirit and love for you. Put it somewhere you run into it every day --something that gets IN your way so you remember.
ahhh yes...
Good God's gentle love, fierce love, complete love.

What will be your reminder?
God abides
Bobbie McGarey

Monday, June 07, 2004


I am amazed now that when you order something and have it shipped that you can get a number and go to a website and the number will tell you where your package is and when it should arrive.
That is amazing to me. Ok, so I am simply amused. But you know when it was sent, it was scanned it... and then ... Hello will you sign please? And you make some odd scrawlings on an electronic screen, and they hand you the box and they are off.

Ah life. Wait wait you say, life isn't like that. We aren't born with a 'bar code' etched on our hands and go through the various places we go with some great cosmic coincidence coordinator checking our progress. Which means we have the ability to move as swiftly or as slowly along the path that is laid out for us. And we have choices. And we make mistakes AND hopefully we learn! An on we go.

I think we know when we are headed in the right direction when opportunities for good for us and others ---continue to present themselves. Not just "more for me" kind of good but a good that makes the world smile.

When we surrender, if you will, to the mercy and grace that is presented us. We do know--deep in your heart what that feels like--- When we rest in the heart of God, when God rests in our heart. We are on the right track. How far along? Don't know. But we don't really need to know that--- do we...

Deep sigh, again,

Community is also important in our travels. But more about that later. In the meantime happy Monday!

God abides --always Good NEWS

Bobbie McGarey

Friday, June 04, 2004


Years ago probably on PBS or the nature channel I saw a report about a herd of elephants that came up to the body of another elephant, long passed. The bones of the dead one long cleaned and bleached by the African Sun.
But they didn't shy away, this herd of elephants, instead it surrounded the bones, and swaying back and forth, they took their large trunks and gingerly, absolutely tenderly, touched and held all the bones. As if to see who this was or to say good-bye or to remember. There was such amazing awe and dignity about this large animal act that it was absolutely touching. They did this for a long time. The scientist that observed it was amazed and confused. There could be no natural reason why they did this. There was something deeper.

We remember good things and they linger with us. Would that we would 'take out' these memories more than once in a while and have them bring us comfort. Have them bring us joy, have them bring us peace. And in doing this create in the world more comfort, and joy and peace. And God knows, (not swearing but claiming), God knows that this is exactly what the world needs.

We need to know too I think deep in our human hearts that for something Good we will be remembered. Not the kid who did something really silly in school, or the sibling that was mean over something out of childhood, but that we brought some good into the world in our lives...And we want people to remember that.

Sometimes I think I'm the keeper of my family memories. Not only the ones from my childhood family, because I'm the only one left of my family of three, but I remember big family gatherings, as children, as adults, with the complexities of relationships and the joys and sorrows we've shared, and missed sharing, and how underneath it all we do love one another. I wish I could download those memories for my children. (Well, insert a grin! maybe not ALL of them! Ha ha ha )

People want to be remembered and thought important. Why else are there buildings with people's names on them---large towers to success or excess. Would that the good we did changed another person's life for the better, and their life another life, and on and on, then we would be remembered. Names? not so important, because God knows our names and loves us fiercely. But that there was that Good came out of our lives and into the world.

Remember, those who passed on to you an opportunity, or good experience, or common sense, or joy, or lesson learned, and in your memory bring to the Now of your life that which is Good and PASS IT ON!

Remember when....

Bobbie McGarey

Lights Out Night

I have been reading about the power outage in the Dallas Fort Worth area following a storm Tuesday. I know Johnny and Molly don't have electricity yet. The company has brought in crews from all over to do the work. What a wind.

Last Summer our nephew Daniel came and stayed with us and our lights went out too. It was seemingly quite a surprise to him. I guess they don't have that kind of trouble in Phoenix yet.

What if as families we had lights out nights ...Say once a month. You know --you all had to be together and doing something but without electricity. The whole night. No extra load of laundry, no computer, for anyone, no TV, and whatever else that meant. OK so you can keep the refrigerator on. But no real cooking. Dishes? Washed by hand by everyone!

Ok extreme! I hear you say. Well whatever it takes what if you did this once a month and enjoyed one another's company, played a card game by candlelight, read aloud to one another. ????? I think it is worth a try..

Many cultures live by the rising and setting of the sun. More in tune with our bodies and the world around us. Sun rise/Son rise

OH JOHN......

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Small World

Hi on Thursday
Ok if you have lived long enough and you've been paying any kind of attention at ALL, then you know this IS a small world.

A few years ago there was a group of folk who wanted to cause trouble in the church. They made a plan and they wrote it out and distributed it to 'their' group. It was detailed, with names of people to undermine and all kinds of stuff. Oh and they signed their names. Well, lo and behold, one of the people who received this plan apparently read it on the plane. And then...then... you guessed it. They left it in the seat pocket and the next person in that seat, next segment of the flight, found the papers and shared them with those who needed to know. Amazing Eh?

Well, it is a small world. Our daughter can tell you that. She is in Tulsa Oklahoma and today met two people she knew from when she was in elementary school in Bryan Texas. They were walking into the restaurant as she was leaving. Amazing! Tulsa is a big town. And it's a long way from Bryan to Tulsa and about 5 years since she's seen this family. She had heard something about them being there when she first moved to town but had not been able to find Abby and had forgotten she was there. It is a small world. What timing! I mean really! They could easily have been in the same place and never seen one another. Two minutes would have made them miss one another.

We know its a small world when emails link us with people on the other side of the world. When we hear news reports from Afghanistan in minutes, when we know what is happening everywhere it seems.

But in our small world we have an opportunity to love our neighbor like Jesus said! We can care about people we haven't met, with prayer, with support, with sharing words of encouragement. There is much to do.

Because what a small world it is...and there is no other... we are all One.

God abide

Bobbie McGarey

ps If I've caused you to sing 'it's a small world after all' like the Disney ride... erh uh well......

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Take a Stand

Tuesday evening I was coming home ffrom a full day meeting in OKC and I turned south at Chiicksha and had the last 30 miles to go. Long slow summer evening twilight. There were some beautiful beautiful clouds to the south that were catching the sunset and I watched them the whole way home. Public radio had some wonderful music and the time moved quickly by and I was home. Those clouds were like the sweeping edge of a painting. It is no wonder people over time have tried to paint. Nature draws out of us awe.

When I got home I got a call from our daughter who said they were in a really bad storm in Ft. Worth and would I look to see if it was a tornado.on the itnternet weather.She and Johnny and Molly were together and had been cooking a great dinner when the lights went out and the storm got intense. I looked and there was an intense storm over them but there was no present sign of tornado where they were..

Then I realized that the sweeping edge of those beautiful clouds that I had been admiring and enjoying all the way home were the back end of the storm that had them hunkered down in Ft. Worth. The perspectives on these clouds was completely different.

And our world is like that. To one person things are wonderful awe inspriing and beautiful. To others they are a trial or threat. Where we stand does color what we see. When we have differences with someone how can we learn more often to try and stand where they stand and see the issue or problem. Perhaps we should say here I stand, let me stand by you and see what you see. And perhaps invite them over to where we stand to share our point of view.

. But see, just there is the real find someone else who will look at both sides too. But another being stubborn is no excuse for our being stubborm!

Perspective. Now remember that God also stands and sees our lives from a different perspective. Not to judge us all the time but to sometimes enourage us to see a problem, a dilemma, a trouble, a sadness, a fear, from God's side and perspective. That's important you know. Really important. Jesus always stood by those that others stood and judged, the sick, the lonely, the outcast, what on the world would we have.?

God abides .....
Bobbie McGarey

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Great Aunt Sarah

Sarah Hesson was really my cousin's Great Aunt but she adopted me and John when we moved to Nashville. She loved it that we found a little house about three blocks away. Every and I emphasize every Thursday night we would go watch the Waltons with her. They teased us at Vanderbilt Divinty school--don't plan anything with the McGarey's on Thursday they watch the Waltons. It kept our visits regular and gave us something to talk about. Sarah was a southern lady thru and thru. I hear she even fudged on her drivers license so no one would know a 'lady's' real age. Anyway Sarah was a honey. She would meet us on her porch and you could hear her saying..OHHHHH Goodie Goodie! You are here! We could sometimes smell the greens she'd cooked for dinner when we first got out of our car.

Sometimes she would make pie. Chess pie. Which to us tasted like pecan pie without the pecans. But she loved to cook it for us anyway.

She watched the Love Boat with me one evening and turned off the set and said, "Tell me the truth now. Do things like that really go on?" She was referring to the cabin hopping that was part of that particular episode. I said , "Yes, I'm afraid so!" "OOOOO My! she said, "I was afraid you would say that. Goodness! Gracious!" She shook her head.

Sarah lived about 10 years after we left Kentucky. She wanted to die in her kitchen. She said it was where she belonged. Don't feel bad for me if you come over and I'm dead on my kitchen floor. She didn't get her wish. But she did have a gentle passing in a care facility. I know she was ready. She always went to church. Wore the right color gloves and shoes. She would only take off one glove, as was the ladies custom, to take communion. Always a lady.

What stories she told us that we've now forgotten. Do you know someone like Sarah? What stories will you wish you had heard and remembered? Even if it means they tell them again?

OHHH Goodie Goodie... another story you can pass on to your family...down the road.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey