Because of my recent blog post He Is Not Here. His Feet Are There, I’ve been thinking a lot about angels – specifically about how incredibly creepy encountering the angel at Jesus’s tomb would have been for Mary, Mother of James, Mary Magdalene and Salome. If that didn’t scare the be-Jesus out of a girl, I don’t know what would. In my opinion, when it comes to creepy, angels are right up there with clowns.
Polls indicate that eight out of ten Americans believe in angels. I’m sorry, but that’s just nuts. The word “angel” derives from the Greek angelos, which means “messenger.” In addition to being the bearers of problematic news, such as, “Surprise! You’re pregnant!”, angels also acted as God’s bouncers (e.g., Garden of Eden) and hit men (e.g., Sodom and Gomorrah). They were God’s posse, his Enforcers. They smote and not in a good way.
Now I understand wanting to believe that somebody, anybody has got your back, but, seriously: angels? Do you think that now that they no longer have a real job, they are free to devote their time to ensuring your personal safety? Or maybe you think they are like dogs – once formidable and wild, but now cuddly companions. My advice? You see an angel, get the Hell out of there and don’t make the same mistake Lot’s wife did. I know it’s hard to hear, but angels are just not that into people . . . and they never have been.
The Romans had penates, tiny household deities who guarded their stuff. It was customary to throw a bit of one’s repast on the fire for the penates — kind of like leaving cookies and milk out for Santa Claus. If you need to have something looking out for you, you might want to consider transferring your belief to a handful of these tiny deities.
Or fairies. You could believe in fairies.