Awakening a Keen Observer

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mountains and Trees

As the plane flew into the Portland Oregon airport I was loving the mountain views we were getting. These mountains are covered with huge trees and really beautiful. Suddenly the mountain, Mt. Hood, was right there just off the wing. It was so close I'd wished for my camera. I had a middle seat and the man next to me was sleeping and I couldn't get to it fast enough. But it is etched in my mind. I've got two days to soak in this environment.
Last Christmas we sat Mt. Everest from the plane to Varanasi. It stood head and shoulders above the others. Amazingly beautiful. We live in a beautiful world... all over.
I am already akin to those who love the far horizons too. Loving the way in Oklahoma you can stretch your hand around and see the horizon all around you... level and sweet.
Where is home? Where the heart is. But does your heart have to be home in only one place? I don't know. What do you think?
God abides -this I know wherever is home.
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, July 20, 2007

behind and before

Ben Campbell Johnson in his book To Will God's Will, (I'd love to have a study on this book) quotes Frederich Buechner a Presbyterian minister ....
The question is not whether the things that happen to you are chance things or God's things because of course they are both at once. There is not chance thing through Which God cannot speak--even the walk from the house to the garage that you have ten thousand times before, even the moments you cannot believe there is a God who speaks at all anywhere. God speaks, I believe, and the words God speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of our selves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys. We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening bach, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music.

God abide and may the music of your life sing...
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Getting Stuck

I have listened to an interview with Pema Chodron who is a Buddist Nun. She told a story about the Dall Lama and his encounter with Western thought. (that would be us)
Apparent he was teaching about the wisdom of taking time for contemplation of God and some of the teachers were saying that the problem with the way he presented it was that those of us with Western Minds would hear him suggest that we ought to be in silence for 15 minutes and instead of that inspiring us we would put ourselves down for not doing that right or daily or long enough. We would look how we had gone wrong. He couldn't understand. In his Tibetan mind you believe in the goodness and not look for the shortcomings. They had to try and help him understand. He just smiled and shook his head.
We do that don't we? We hear that we should be always in prayer and instead of trying to pray more we say to ourselves, "Oh my You haven't been doing that at all..shame shame shame." Or we hear love your neighbor and we realize we spend most of our time judging other people....and not just getting out there and loving.
How silly we are and how complicated we make our lives. How we lose sleep over shoulds and oughts and don't just get about the business at hand.
Go for it. Go for living in the present and being the ones who are present to others/with others.
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I was reading the writing of a young woman who is entering ministry in the PCUSA Irene Pak. this is what she wrote.
It's the passage from Luke when Jesus gets up in the temple and reads the scroll of Isaiah that is handed to him. I'm going to quote the passage and share my reinterpretation that I shared with the youth on the Isaiah text itself.

"When Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me and within me
And because of that I have been anointed, healed, and empowered to bring good news to the poor: the ones we see on the corner asking for change or food; the ones we ignore; the ones who are lonely.
The Spirit has sent me to say something about all that holds us back from freedom and from us loving one another, and wants me to help us take the blindfolds off our eyes so that we dare to really see each other as we are,
To let the things that might tie and weigh us down like money, too much stuff, perfect grades, shoes and video games go FREE,
To proclaim that NOW is the time to talk and start caring about people and a world we might not have thought about before.

And Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them. 'Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.' All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, 'Is not this Joseph's son?"

How would you make the Scriptures speak to you? What holds us back from freedom and loving one another?
God abides
Bobbie G. McGarey

Friday, July 06, 2007


I know you've heard me say my Mom loved to watch QVC in her later years. It was simple, she said they talk right to you, they dress nicely, and there are no commercials. (QVC is one of the first TV shopping channels)
How then do we 'need more and more? One caller to QVC today said she got a pair of shoes today it's her umptheenh pair of this particular brand.
I have, truth be told, bought some things from QVC. I've been pleased with them too. It is amazing how great a job they do of making you think: Gee, I need a new pair of shoes because if I had those very shoes I would walk better, or exercise, or look better wearing them. I love it when they say... don't just pick up one pair, or one whatever get two.. or both colors.
Today's "special value" is a pair of walking shoes. Oh and to be honest I thought about them. 40 something, (40 dollars and change as they say) but then I thought again...
That 40 dollars would take care of a child for a month at the Children's Homes in India. It would allow them to have shelter, food, clothing, education. And perhaps a pair of shoes.
I have started putting a plastic jug in the car and every time I 'drive-through' someplace I put an equal amount of that coke or whatever I buy in the jug. It's amazing how quickly I have gotten enough for taking care of a child for a month. What we spend our 'extra' money on we find quickly can be used for good. I am sure it could be used for good close to home too. But I know where it goes in India.
This month, keep tabs some way of the money you spend for coffee, or colas, or drive thru food or something that is 'extra' to your life. And find a good place to give it away.
God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

a bridge too small

Tuesday, July 3, 2007
a bridge too small

We crossed the Ganges river just East of Hardiwar on a bridge that I believe was made for people, maybe bicycles, perhaps a cart but a car? I wasn't sure. The men who were walking toward us on the bridge leaned out over the river holding on to the side. I should say they smiled as we passed them.
When I was learning to drive a long long time ago my Daddy said when you come to a narrow road, Aim Ahead. That's good advice. It sure worked here. Seriously. If you had looked left or right you might have taken off a rear-view mirror. It was that narrow.
As we crossed this bridge I realized we'd be crossing it again on the way home. We drove to the homes of some of the children who are in the Children's Homes. They come from parents who have leprosy. This beautiful, seriously, little village was on the bank of the Ganges. They worked each of them doing laundry for a local hotel. They welcomed us.
They knew the people who had brought us but we were strangers. No longer. We now know them and they us and we pray for one another. They pray to a Hindu God, I to my Christian God, but we pray for good things for one another. For them to be protected from the monsoons and the troubles they have. They prayed for safe journeys for us. They asked us to come back.

When did you see a stranger and invite them in? They would do it anytime.
God abides
perhaps our bridges are too small.
Bobbie Giltz McGarey