Awakening a Keen Observer

Monday, June 25, 2007

wrestling with the night

I woke this morning to the birds singing just outside my window. Actually, my favorite way to wake. I have been sleeping myself particularly well. I've been falling asleep quickly and dreaming alot with long connected stories. Last night I was dreaming about a group of friends and a trip with them. I woke refreshed.
I turned on the coffee maker to heat the left over coffee and thought of a friend.
He said he'd been having such trouible sleeping. He described to me his last two nights of not sleeping. Later I thought how to describe such nights
wrestling with the night for some rest.
We've all had those nights, right? When sleep won't come. Not particularly because of any troubling issues but somehow the body won't yield to sleep.
Somehow there is not comfort space even though it's not about pain. Somehow there is no rest.
There are times to be sure when you waken with particular issues on your heart that keep you awake. We've all had those nights too, right? When someones well being or our own is troubled and we just can't find rest. What body chemical is keeping us awake. I look at those times as a call to prayer.
No doubt one could search the internet and find information about those chemicals that the body produces that makes un-sleep happen. But it is the westling in the heart that I think keeps us awake the most.
Psalm 62:1
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from God comes my salvation.
2 God alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

Ah... rest in God alone. No more wrestling.
God Abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's Hot

We all have a time when we say, Whew! It's hot! When we lived in Utah, hot was75 with the humidity at 24%. We have humidity here in Oklahoma that chases the temperature right up to the 100's. Whew. When we were in India they measure temp in Centigrade so we didn't seem as hot even when it was 114 F when we landed late at night.
We slept a couple or more nights by wetting the sheet and then falling asleep with the fan blowing hard and cooling us. The fan also kept the mosquito's off. We would wake sometimes in the middle of the night and have to wet our faces again. But we slept, well and safe. We had a bed and pillows....and really it didn't seem that hot because we weren't moving in and out of cold air conditioning.
When I got home I froze in the grocery store and then walked out into a hot afternoon that felt even more intense because of the cold inside. I like more consistant temperatures. If I'm hot...I'll just be hot.
But we are like that as people. We may appear one way when really we are another. We may say we are fine when we are oh so not fine. We may for the sake of others eat more or less than we want to please someone else.
Let's just Be who we are. True, honest, right there.... you

Good luck this week being who you are...
God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

स्लिघ्त्ल्य दिफ्फेर्नेत लुक

Somehow I have added a setting that changes what i wrote in the title into Hindi. Wow. That is amazing. It is a beautiful text. Oddly enough I have no idea what the words are or how it transliterated what I wrote.
But that's the way with all writing or speech really. What I say you may well hear in entirely different way. I think that's fascinating.
So listen carefully and even more speak carefully.
we can't set how someone hears.

Wednesday Post 3
God abides
bobbie Giltz McGarey


While traveling in India I am repeatedly struck by the marble that is used everywhere for floors and walls and stacked like spare plywood around housing projects. While we see it as an exotic material in many parts of India it is not unusual at all.
This is my second posting for today. I was praying about things and the image of the beautiful marble we'd seen in India came to mind.
I suppose my fascination with marble started many years ago when I would go to the Biology and Zoology building at Ohio State University and the stairs were made of marble. But it was marble that had such age and use that there were worn parts in the stairs. They were beautiful to me and fascinating. That many footsteps had worn down this stone so that in places it was thin or had a scoop in it where feet had been.
Later in one of the first churches I served the pulpit had a marble part to it and just there-where your hands go there was a dent in the marble. It was not a chip it was where the marble had been worn by the hands of preachers who had stood in that very place and rubbed it as they shared God's word. It was beautiful and awesome in the history it witnessed. (There are similar wearings on many pulpits of wood evoking similar witness.)
These marks made by many footsteps and many hands witness to those who have gone before. These wearings also could be seen in some of the monuments and forts in India. These places changed by the many hands and feet that had walked before us.
Recognize too that each footstep does not leave an impact that you see rather it comes as one builds upon another. Rarely do we see the evidences of our life and that is all right.

Distant perspective

Can you feel the shift? Today is the longest day of the year. I think the sun sets at almost 9pm here (Central Daylight time). But I'm not sure I'll know. I woke to a rainy sky before dawn and will wait and see if we see the sun this morning.
There is a difference in the light of various places. The light in Oklahoma is different than the light in Dhanauri India. Yes, it is the same sun but there is something about the air, the altitude, and other factors that makes it look different. One of the very clear days in India the sky was a beautiful blue dome with small puffy clouds. It seemed perfect. One night we watched a thunderstorm over the mountains, the foothills of the highest mountains in the world. We would rate the flashes and cheer. There were several that were absolutely outstanding. They flashed like fireworks that were thrown into the sky to zigzag across in front of us. From the distance where we observed we could see each arch and branch of the lightening and it was awesome.
But it took the distance to make it so amazing. I don't think in the midst of the storm you would have seen the pattern of the lightening but rather you would have seen the flashing and then the thunder without detail.

Distance gives perspective.

That is true for a lot of things it seems that distance gives perspective. I think we call that hind-sight when it has to do with something happened in the past. But now I'm referring to something that is present that comes together from a distance. Some times relationships and group dynamics are best understood when we step out of the situation for a moment. They can become even more precious and also more clear about what is happening in the midst of it all.
Sometimes this perspective or distance can be given to us by a friend who is not wrapped up in the situation. Someone who will listen and be honest with us about ourselves and the situation that involves us. That is a true friend. I am blessed with several and pray that I serve them in the same capacity.
Take a breath and look at your life closely and from a little distance and determine what God is calling you to do in this present time and place.
God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

over the foothills
the mountains behind
the storm flashed and raged
and we
on the porch
sat watching and cheering
the lightening as it displayed

so beautiful the flashes
never repeated
some like a tree branched out and spread
and watching
we felt us expand in the flashing
and knew that God is so near

Yes God can be seen in the lightening the thunder
the rushing of water the blue in the sky
but also is present
in small silent moments
and the cry of a babe
or the song of a bird.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hands UP2

Here it is Sunday early morning right now. I woke thinking of the day ahead. Our daughter leaves Oklahoma for Pennsylvania today with her Dad. He is driving the rental truck with her. They have some packing still to do but that will all work out.

Two weeks ago I was in India getting ready to preach at the church where the teenage children worship. They are the children in one of the Homes. Their parents have leprosy but they are fine. The son of the manager nicknamed "Honey" translated for me. He and I worked well together and the kids were alert and attentive. We laughed together a couple of times as he translated. If I got to a word they don't have in Hindi I would change it till we found one that worked.

After church and lunch and a rest we drove into the nearby town. For the vast majority of the people in that area Sunday was not their holy day they are Hindu or Muslim. We drive through a busy Muslim area. It is a particularly holy area for them and part of the pilgrimage faithful Muslims make during their lives. There were all kinds of vehicles. However, when I looked into the faces of the women as we drove past them, we in car they often in pony cart, I saw the faces of women I've met everywhere. I've met them where I lived in Ohio, Virginia, Illinois, Arizona, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Utah and Oklahoma the faces are the same. The essence of the people is the same. There are different outsides but the same inside- you can just tell.

We are all the same under the skin and we share the same deep heart's desires for our selves and our families. The children were particularly curious about us as westerners with white skin and different hair. My grey hair stands out there as to have it mixed color isn't common. There are to be sure white haired people but few with a mixture as mine is now.
There are to be sure different lenses through which we see the world and one another. Those lenses each of us has come from religion and culture and place. The actions of others outside of the everyday folks often color or cloud those lenses and as individuals we are all impacted. These particular people look to find religious meaning in very different places, manner, and ritual, holding different views of God and God's nature.

And a warning for you- your lenses can change and new perspectives can come to you and new opportunities to understand.

As believers in Jesus our lens should be love. Jesus challenged us- challenges us- to see the world, friend or foe, through this lens of love he brought us. Even if the greater world clouds those lenses we see through that cloud with God's love. Jesus taught us of God's love in his life and action and by his eating with sinners and healing those others wouldn't touch. He was not afraid of the other or the unclean.

So no matter where we live our feet touch the same earth, our hands hold up the same sky, and we are sisters and brothers here at this same time in the history of the world.
Raise up your hands and stomp your feet and say to yourself --welcome home-- and be about the hospitality of welcoming all.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ho Hurry

Lyrics for Song: I'm In A Hurry (And Don't Know Why)
Lyrics for Album: American Pride

I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why

Can't be late, I leave in plenty of time
Shakin' hands with the clock
I can't stop
I'm on a roll and I'm ready to rock

Oh, I hear a voice
That says I'm running behind
Better pick up my pace
It's a race and there ain't no room for someone in second place

I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why
Life slows even with so many people being busy. You wait..Just wait for it all to unfold before you...and it does...gently...obviously...full of movement and color and hope and desire and survival and success. Each one taking a part---together a whole. We may compete but we need one another for survival.

We had an overnight 12 hour train trip from Varanasi to NewDelhi. The sleeper x3 compartment had 8 people in one area with the main walk through separating two berths from the 6 on the other side. The top bunk over six feet above the floor. That was Betsy's bed. Mine a berth along the side with the one overtop high enough to sit up. None of the other when set up for sleep could you sit up inside. They brought the blankets about 9 with clean sheet in a paper with the pillow. Most people immediately made their bed and layed down. I made my bed. Apparently I don't know how to make a train bed because several times in the night I woke with the bottom sheet totally off the bottom all wrapped up in a strange configuration around my feet. We didn't have a lock for the bag to secure it to the train. We'll get one next time. It was stuffed under the berth pretty secure and no one tampered with it.
We tried to sleep. I used my backpack, arm through the strap and put my small money/id bag under my shirt.I fought for sleep. The rocking of the train was not gentle but rather violent at times. Betsy's berth had her rocking back and forth on her side. the one I had made me move up and down toward feet then toward head. Rough track in several areas. I finally slept and was glad I did. When I woke I thought that it was a good night all around. Alas, the clock told me I'd slept for 3 hours not a full night...more to go.
The workers slept on the metal floor outside the cabin between the rocking near the loo whose doors took some force to open and you always wondered if you'd encountered someone inside. The Hindi toilet much preferred on the train for reasons unnecessary to elaborate. I dreamed, wrote, and watched parts of Rural India waking up in a dream like trance. Another to be done to survive and thrive and try and make it to the big city where the promises of big money has always called the rural laborer. Wherever they live.
omen already carrying bundles of grass and rice and sticks, They walk in threes for most logical reasons and it works. How else to hoist and balance on your heads the huge bundles but with the help of two others.
Moments have passed...all these things are happening simultaneously...did you see?

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, June 14, 2007

O k l a h o m a

We arrived back at our home after flying from New Delhi India. John was the first to be seen when we came through security. He looked wonderful! We've missed him We even got to see through the security doors Johnny and Molly get back together in Dallas.
After 15 hours on one flight, 3 hour wait in Chicago, 2 hour flight to Dallas, 40 minute wait in Dallas, 50 minute flight to OKC, and 1 and half hour drive to Duncan. We had a safe and uneventful flight and connections in Chicago and Dallas. WE flew in a wonderful route that took us from NewDelhi, over Pakistan, Afghanistan and then across the MidEastern part of what was Russia over the North Pole, Canada, and the UP of Michigan. to Chicago.
(I was surprised to see that the hotdogs in Chicago weren't for sale when we got there.It was too early for them...just right 'time' for me)
We're home.
John made us a wonderful dinner which we ate after our first two hour nap. We stayed up for about 2 hours and then slept again. At 3am I woke up and then Betsy and then John. A little toast and back to sleep. Jet lag hits your body in waves as it attempts to get itself shifted into present time. It's not that you have changed or time has chaged it is that the time where you are is agreed to be different. What if we went on a one-world time zone? But that musing for another time.
Home looked Good. John looked GREAT meeting us in OKC. It was great.
I will wait to call and see how folks are doing until another wave possibly passes over.
God abides here and there.
Bobbie Giltz McGarey
more musings about travel to come.

Monday, June 11, 2007

another plan

Without electricity or internet access it is difficult to post to you so... I'm back at least for a day and then will be heading home.
The world here is wonderful and the people here so helpful and friendly and the children...well they are children whether they have a swingset or a tire in a tree to swing on or whether they are in Oklahoma USA or Roorkee India.
What can we learn from this...
We all have our feet on the same earth
and see the same moon
and trive under the same sun.
we'll we're related to be sure
God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey