Room for a Baby

Sometimes babies are born in the most unusual places: a subway station, the back seat of a taxi, the corner of a crowded restaurant.  We never know where a baby might choose to make his appearance into the world.

The pregnant mother makes all possible preparations, packs a little suitcase for her trip to the hospital, or lays out all that will be needed when the midwife arrives.  A little nursery is made ready, a place for the infant to lie safe and warm.  If there are available funds, colorful decorations are hung to attract the infant once his eyes are able to focus.

But all the time no one knows exactly when the baby will decide to be born—or how much in a hurry he will be to get here.  Sometimes the mother has no time to travel to the clinic or wait for the midwife.  She is not able to make the baby postpone his appearance but rather must cooperate with this child who is eager to become a citizen of this earthly kingdom.  Babies generally have their own time-table and will not be thwarted in their determination.

The godchild within us is indeed one of those with a birthing mind of its own.  We absolutely cannot predict when God will bring our transformed spirit into our conscious awareness.  It is God’s secret, meant to reinforce his design and determination to have his way, to act on his own time schedule.  And it matters not whether we have made any preparations at all.  In fact, our ability to make any preparations is highly unlikely.  This birth is God’s surprise for us, the best Christmas gift ever, whether it comes on December 25 or any of the other 364 days available.

Ann Glover O’Dell

18 December 2017

Prophesy and Reality

The prophesy and the Nativity story both give significant clues as to God’s intention and activity.  The prophets talk of something new emerging from something old, of a culture where all animals live peaceably together with no danger to humans; of the appearance of one who manifests characteristics of Almighty God himself.  The foretelling emphasizes the determination of God to make this happen and the energy He will use to bring this about.

Furthermore, God’s design, energy, and essence are to be known throughout the earth by all.  The birth narrative confirms prophesy and impresses on reader/hearer alike that the new being is conceived and nurtured by none other than the indomitable will of God.

Are we ready to see that both prophesy and Nativity story are what we want to claim for our own?  Not simply a belief system but rather transformative agents in our individual lives?  If we want that it can be ours.

Do we feel old in our spirits and want a new beginning?  Are we weary of all the conflict in our lives?  Do we yearn for a peace that passes understanding?  Are we ready to encounter the prophetic voice deep within us, to dialog with it to learn if it has a special annunciation message for us?  If so, become the scribe of your own wise messenger.  Ask a question and write the reply.  Allow your Inner Wisdom to give you the information you need so that you may, as did Mary, agree to cooperate with the process.

Ann Glover O’Dell

18 December 2017


When God’s voice said, “Be!”

and all the guilt and anger in me vanished

I began to know as I am known—

to understand in deepest heart

that what our mind has told us we must do

can never be divine directives

because our mind attempts to be God,

not listening for his holy will.

When God said, “Be!”

He gave me new relationship

where tasting, feeling, sensing

takes precedence to thinking and deciding.

When God told me to be

I became a born again as Jesus once described

those apprehending life’s abundance.


Ann Glover O’Dell

20 November 2017

To Hell and Back

John Noonan says religion is for people who are trying to keep from going to hell and spirituality if for people who have been there and who don’t want to go back.

In order for us to be in intimate relationship with God, something that is not of God must die within us.  As we witness that death, we experience our own personal hell.  There is no way around it if we would truly know God.

Jesus told his God to work out his will.  Jesus gave permission to whatever would follow.  Jesus cooperated with God’s will.

If a death was necessary for God’s plan to materialize in the life of a man like Jesus, how much more is a death necessary in us.

Ann Glover O’Dell

22 November 2016

Transmitters of Energy

Could it be possible that we, as transmitters of the energy of the universe, can enable that energy to multiply as it travels through us?

I like to think so.

First of all, we need to embrace the idea that this energy is a benevolent one, that it seeks our good and the good of all.

Recalling surprising coincidences can begin to show us how that energy can work to make our lives more enjoyable—and give us the desire for more of its miracles.  We may not be able to specifically direct the action of this universal energy, but we can tell it what we want: to be open to its activity within us and its guidance of our choices.

Second, we need to find ways of opening ourselves to its coursing in and through us, ways of inviting it to work its goodness using us as its vehicles.


Time and again Jesus instructs his disciples and others in his audience to listen.  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” Jesus repeats.  We have come to understand that for Scripture to have the greatest impact on our lives, we must ask ourselves, ‘what does it mean to me?’ Where is it touching me most deeply?  Where am I most affected, and perhaps made uncomfortable, by the Scripture passage?

As we ask these questions, we are better able to see how God might be a part of the situation in the text—and my situation as well.  We are invited to have a personal encounter with the verses we choose to read in the Bible, a prelude to the kind of encounter that God wants to have with each of us.

Look again at the parable of the sower and the soils.  Many interpretations have been given of the various kinds of soil, and even the sower and the grain that finally emerges from the good soil.  But this time you are invited to make your own personal interpretation.

Scripture: Matthew 13:3-8

A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.  Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Residents of Haven House, a residential treatment center for addition,  were asked to listen carefully as the story was read several times and then share whatever they would of the responses they had and the insights that came to them as they pondered at a deeper level what the story might be saying to them.  All of them related the story to their own stories.

One man noticed that the sower lost a lot of seed but gained a great deal in the end.

Another suggested that we need to plant ourselves around a church family so we don’t wither.

Still another suggested that the thorns in the story represent the wrong people we associate with.

One said it seemed to him that to do good, one has to give up something to gain something else.

Another said we must prepare our heart in a way that we have to prepare soil to receive the good seed.

And finally one said we don’t know how our crop will turn out but we want to be good soil so we can produce a good crop.

What varied and insightful responses!  And all from individuals who chose to listen to Scripture with new ears, and with a heart ready to receive and embrace.

What about you?  I invite you to choose a favorite Bible story and sit with it long enough to let it say new things to you.  I believe you will be enriched by what happens to you.

March 2017

(Note: A number of additional meditations are available on this website under Meditations.)

Ann Glover O’Dell

The Window of My Mind

I  washed the window of my mind

and sitting on the sill, looked out

for views of inspiration from my muse.

Parades gave me nothing as they passed

and wondered I where else to cast my eyes.

Suddenly a fine wind blew the casement open

and circulated dizzingly within

upsetting applecarts of art work

and opinions collected

during years of trips and education

contributing to theologies tried and true.

This fine wind sifted through it all,

blowing the stale and stagnant

into ingenious incinerators

then distributed assorted rainbows

as it exited toward the sea.


Ann Glover O’Dell

13 February 2017