Awakening a Keen Observer

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


William Sloane Coffin in his book, "letters to a Young Doubter" writes "Why do so many judge religion by the worst examples of it?"
What a great question. Seriously, think about it. We look at 'others', whomever that other may be for us, and we make broad judgments about all others by experiences that stand out in our minds. Often those experiences are ones that stand out because they are negative.
What if we judged others by the best of them. What if we 'walked a mile in their shoes'? What if we sat down to break bread with them? What if we smiled and laughed with them--or cried with them?
What if we judged religion by the best examples? What if we looked closely those who do good, who follow God's law, who live in harmony with those around them, who loved justice, and did kindness and walked humbly with their God?

I am going to have to consider this more. Think along with me.
You can leave comments if you wish.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Here are some more sentences from my readings.
Thomas Merton. 'Mercy is the manifestation of God's presence.
True Faith is never merely the source of spiritual comfort. It may indeed bring peace but before it does it must also involve a struggle.
When we love God's will we find God and God's joy in all things. But when we love ourselves more than God, all things become our enemies.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Heading East

The far open stretches of the prairie
give over to the Eastern mountains covered with trees.

These mountains rise up on the horizon like distant waves
seeking the shore. First you see a little wrinkle in the earth
and then line after line after line of them stretch out before you.

Unlike their new-formed Rocky sisters these mountains are again covered with green their rock faces now covered and dissolved into enough earth to hold a tree sound. Where new mountains are more bare and jutted these are smoother -eons in their making.

I know these mountains from childhood travel and living in them and seeing them formed at their southern base.

Looking down from the airplane I see a U shaped valley with a farm here and there. It is a long cradled valley with few roads between farmland wheat being harvested.
So many people have lived there and put their roots as truly into the close-rock soil.

Somehow our life-span from day to day to day to day is put in perspective. This is the day that God has made. Go, live it.

God abides
oh in the beauty of the mountains and the open freedom of the plains this we know.

Bobbie Giltz McGarey
doing continuing Education in the East.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Asheigh l Brilliant wrote "
There has been an alarming increase in the number of things you know nothing about."

I agree.
And if we don't agree there can only be two reasons.
1. You are not paying attention
2. You believe you already know everything.

My dear Mom would reply to things people said by saying, "Oh I know that" She meant it as an affirmation of what the other person said not as a one-up on them. When her granddaughter looked up and her and said in full affirmation and amazement ,
"Oh Granny you just know everything!" Granny laughed.

We do claim to believe some things we know nothing about.

Then perhaps the question becomes:
What do we know?

I know that Jesus loves us, and all people wants good things in our lives and abides with us always.
That is enough for now.
and always.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I came across this story as I was reading some old Theology Today articles. (reference below)
Here was the quote that caught my heart.

Some worn and familiar stories persist because they touch us truly; so it is with the old story of the child who was sent to the neighborhood store on an errand. She did not return when expected, and her father, going out to hunt for her, encountered her just arriving home. The child explained she had been delayed because she had come across her friend, who had dropped her favorite china doll on the sidewalk.

"It was all broken," she soberly told her father.

"I'm sorry," he responded. "It was nice of you to stay and help her pick up the pieces."

"Oh no," she said, "I stayed to help her cry."

That is caring for the soul.

Perhaps that is what we are all to do.... to be with people however they need us. The child in this story didn't try and "fix-it" as we might all have tried to do. Rather she touched the person whose life was changed in this breaking. How can we learn to be with people who have broken parts of their lives and resist the urge to fix it? Oh come on, you know you do this too, I just bet you do.

We can do this if we get out of ourselves and our own egos that say, "I'm so good I can do anything." and abide with those who need us to say, "I'm here."

Fixing may come at some point but only after we have earned the right to give. What we can do is receive the passion, the care, the joy, the sadness, the hope, the mercy, of those around us and to give it back to them. Then we can reach out to the world that in many places seems broken and work to make it better. We look for big time solutions to problems. You can tell this by the ads on TV. Here's something that is broken in this world, it may be your hair, or the shine on the kitchen floor, but we've got the solution, for a price.

The only price in staying with someone is that our time will have been spent for the heart of another and not on ourselves. This is a good deal in any language.

Stay... with those who need you to be with them, not to fix them, or to tell them we've also been in the same place, but just to share the tears or joy.

God abides

Bobbie Giltz McGarey


Article by Brownie Barr Jan 2007 theology today

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Open world

The Presbyterian Church has a saying to get people to raise our presence, Open Hearts- Open Minds. Other denominations have used it adding, Open Doors. All these ideas I believe should apply to every church.
Yesterday we met two missionaries who gave me another view... Open eyes Open world. They have been working in the country of Sudan. A country on the continent of Africa that has been in the news with the long civil war and the millions of refugees and the camps where people are trying to wait out the violence.
They talked of the work of the Christian church in that country and it was a window into a world I never knew. They talked of the kindness of their Muslim neighbors on 9/11 bringing food and sharing in the tragedy . They did not hate Americans or threaten this couple. Thank you
Barry Almy and Rev. Dr. Elizabeth A. McCormick for your love for Jesus and God's children.
They talked of a college/seminary where men and women study to become ready to serve in the churches that are growing all over the country as people discover God's Grace through Jesus Christ. They talked of the excitement when a new church was built. The hope that came with a medical team who went to a hospital and were the first physicians there in 45 years. They talked of the many that this team could see and the thousands who waited and hoped that a group returned. They talked of the smiles of the children and the hope they were given with schools, where the government had kept them ignorant in order to control them.
It is an open window to another world. And once you have seen it. You can't go back.
Check out this story on what people in the world eat. It's worth your time to read it. It may open your eyes and your world. And remember, as I've said before. We all have our feet on the same earth and look up at the same sky and are warmed by the same sun.

I thought you might
New windows
into Your world
even with your eyes closed.

God abides
Giltz McGarey

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rainbow Magic

On the way home from Altus to Duncan, OK and the sky to the East where I was heading, got very dark. But then, right over there to the right there was a third of a rainbow. Bright, broad and beautiful it was.
I enjoyed it for about 10 minutes. Then as I looked to the left, another third . Wait wait would it make a full arch? For the next 10 minutes it seemed doubtful that it would make it from one side to the other. There were just some odd clouds at the top that looked like they would ...oh oh look now, a second rainbow outside the first third on my right, (south) I didn't see ti on the left, north, but it got brilliant colors each one so different from the one next to it. Awesome. I pulled over to enjoy it.... and it stayed.
On the way still --it is over an hour to get home, I watched...and then. Totality. Well, you know what I mean, a full rainbow... so beautiful hanging there in the sky from ground to ground and up through the clouds. Awesome.
Thank you God. For the rainbow. For teaching me to be observant. For giving me a sense of wonder that continues....
What was God thinking?
breaking the light with raindrops and creating the rainbow?
arched over the edge of the earth
shaped like the globe
"God's banner over all creation is love"

A sign...

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, October 11, 2007


In the summer of 06 we traveled to Indonesia, Bali and Java to study contextualization of the churches there and to meet these new people. It was an awesome trip.

One day, on Java, we went to Borobudur , here's a link to information about it.

The Monk that was head of the temple and the ashram was a delightful man. He had sparkling eyes and a wonderful smile. He had a peaceful presence. I sat next to him, (he asked me to sit there) during our talk with him. He exuded peace. It was what I thought it might be like being with the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

When we were all walking into his fellowship living room he removed his shoes, as is the custom. I looked down and his leather sandals had imprinted on them a perfect footprint. It seemed to strike me as something beautiful. Here he set his feet. Not many pairs of sandals I'm sure, but enough. one.

I bought a new pair of shoes the other day. They were on sale and a good deal. I willput them with the many other pairs ofl shoes I have. Insert a sigh.

Why more than one...culture here says you need them. You need to match shoes to outfit to handbag, to .the season, to the style, to the whatever.

Oops another sigh.

So, friends, if you have more than one pair of shoes raise your hand. More than one coat, more than one sweater, more than one pan, more than one of so many things.

Footsteps. In whose footsteps do you travel. Will your 'possessions' fit in that footstep?

God abide
With you
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, October 04, 2007

too comfortable

I was in a store a few weeks ago and the sales' guy said he liked the shawl I had on. I said thanks. Then I said, "life is too short not to be comfortable in your clothes."
It is true...and not just about clothing you wear but the attitude you bring to your daily life. I also believe it has to do with how we live in our personality. Are we congruent? Is what the world sees who we are... are we comfortable in 'our' skin?
Sorry, this is not a question I can answer for you. But you can surely answer this for yourself. Are you feeling good about who the world sees when they look at you? Are you honest and true about who you are or is there a facade? If you were to re-invent yourself into someone new would that person be anything like you?

Be yourself

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey