By Blaney Pridgen
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
True confession: In times past, I have not been much of a believer in the agency of angels in a present day, supernatural sense. I accepted the ministry of angels in biblical accounts as somehow real in ancient inspirations and revelations, but I did not see them manifest in contemporary everyday experience. Especially, I have not cared for the notion of guardian angels, sort of like tooth fairies for grown-ups or statuary and depictions of angels as beautiful teenage girls with halos and huge wings. I leave all of that to post biblical imaginations and stained-glass windows and the Hallmark Store. But I am changing. I am seventy-five and changing, a note of encouragement to all old people stuck in the past. I want to experience an angel, and not just in a human acting like an angel. By the way, according to the Bible, angel action is bringing an important message from God to a human being. Yes, the angel might look like Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, or even a teenage girl with wings. I would like to see one, hear a message, and even have the courage to act on it. How about any of you among our readership? Speak up or deny the angels.
Most of you reading this will consider Christmas to be over and are pulling the decorations down. Not us. As for me and my house, we keep the old Christian observance of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which ends on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany when the Visitors from the East show up to adore the Christ child and finance the flight into Egypt through their extravagant gifts. For conservative folk, that’s when Christmas truly ends, and the closets receive the extravagant decorations. Which reminds me that angels are active throughout the full Christmas story: twice to Joseph, once to Mary, and once to Zechariah at the birth of Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist. That’s lots of angels not counting the heavenly host of them to the shepherds watching their flocks by night. And perhaps that angel at the familiar manger scene or creche ought to be standing by Joseph and Mary and not just floating up above the stable cave like a drone. Such as all the angelology.
Where might angels manifest in our lives on earth, other than in heaven, wherever that may be? Certainly,a particular person might temporarily be an angel in our lives, inspired with a message from God for us, whether they are aware of it or not. Could be. But what about that other kind, the heavenly visitor kind? Do they just show up to overstressed individuals who might need a psychiatrist or at least the confidence of a non-judging friend? I don’t know; nonetheless, I am open to a visit, which is a new true confession. As with Joseph, a dream is probably the preferred setting, but wide-awake seems more credible for me, as well as extraordinary and unbelievable for most folks. The message an angel would bring might need to be tested within a close and trusted circle of friends and clergy. Imaginations can be fueled and foolish, not really angelic.
Perhaps this is a good time to encourage us to look for something new and to expect the unexpected in a new year. Could it be a visit from an angel? Maybe.