Sunday, 23 April 2017
There are probably many reasons that angels are trending so high, including religious connection, spiritual connection and simply the beauty of Angels Themselves. But there has to be more to our angel obsession. Could it be that in a world filled with turmoil, angels are simply a peaceful sign of hope amidst the chaos? That possibility seems quite feasible. Humans have always needed to think that someone up there or out there is watching over us. Over the centuries we have sought answers about the existence of something greater than ourselves—something or someone who cares about us. Historically, angels have been described as God’s army and messengers, so naturally we seek to believe that angels are sent by God to protect and guide us.
The crazier the world-at-large gets, the more humans ask for answers and look for help in squelching evil in the world. Who could blame us, when we read of some new bombing of innocents, an accounting of a psycho with a gun murdering people in a theatre, and just recently, the horror of Sandy Hook Elementary School. If our children are not safe in the classroom of a school in a quiet, peaceful east cost enclave, where are they safe? Our feeling of security is shaken to the core when we wonder if it’s safe to go to the movies any longer; or to any public place, for that matter. So statues of angels in our gardens, and photographs of angels on our walls give us the feeling that there are is still gentle beauty in our world.
It is worth noting that, of all of the angel photos online, most are portrayed as guardians--whimsical females, as opposed to war-like, strong male beings. Is it possible that, in most mainstream religions, the “Sacred Feminine” is missing? Do powerful but quiet female angels appeal to a population that craves motherly guidance perhaps? The hard-core rules of many religions leave little room for the “warm and fuzzy” that people crave these days. Angels fill that void without flying in the face of religious groups.
The most obvious reason for angel fever just might be that we, as a people, need to have faith that there really is something else beyond this life. Angels are the symbol of another life in heaven or on “the other side.” They seem to float between our world and the world beyond this one as they seek to remind us that we are not alone. When we lose someone we love, angels in cemeteries symbolically remind us that life is eternal and that our deceased loved-one continues to live in heaven surrounded by angels. It is comforting to believe that we will meet our dearly departed again someday when it is our own turn to move to the next level. Angels reinforce that promise of life ever after in a lovely place, surrounded by heavenly beings and those we loved in this life.
Are angels sent to support us, soothe our fears and comfort us in times of need? Think about this: How many people do you know who are certain that they have been visited by an angel when they were at a particularly low point in their life? There are some pretty convincing reports of angel encounters told by very sane individuals! One woman described a time in her life, just after losing her baby, when she wanted to give up and die. She had no support from family or friends and lived with an abusive husband. She escaped and went to stay at a friend’s home while the friend was out of town, and while lying in bed, in a complete state of collapse, she was visited by an angel. He was in the form of an old man; a gentle soul who patted her back and reassured her that she would survive her ordeal and go on to a rich and full life. Stories like that woman’s encounter give us strength to face our own, personal, difficult days. Angels may not always be seen as dressed in white with glowing wings. Sometimes they are simply a gentle, kind soul.
Whatever the truth is about the existence of angels, there is little doubt that millions of people believe that they do, in fact, exist. As we fill our homes with the likenesses of the spiritual beings, we are constantly aware that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t alone in the universe.