on the theory of angels

Angel stories are the believable sister of UFO stories. You’ll find them in nearly any community and culture. Most people listen with an incredulous mindset and a smirk tickling their lips, but we don’t pull out the straitjacket on them like we do with the people that say they’ve had aliens test on them. Books, songs, television all abound with these ideas of coming into contact with these emissaries from heaven.

It seems, at the very least, we want to want to believe them.

Do you have a story? I could share a few…

… I could tell you about the time I saw an angel in my attic, shining in frozen glory, and speaking soft words…

… or I could tell you about the angel in my room, sitting serenely and having that Touched-By-An-Angel glow radiating off them…

… or maybe you would be interested in hearing how an angel literally saved my life one grey Spring night on the roads of Waco. And several times after…

… or I could talk about the angel that came to tell me about Heaven’s activities and visiting old friends…

The word “angel” itself carries a wide array of meanings. The classical meaning is “messenger” and is what is often translated in the Bible, and is most commonly the role of these beings in other world religions. These are the ones with the message from God.

We use it to mean a dear one who is precious to us, like a significant other or a beloved friend. “Baby, you’re my angel.” “Angel of miiiiiiine.” (Whatever happened to Monica anyway?)

We think of a dead person that has risen in celestial rankings and now sits with soft down feathers and plays a golden harp on cotton clouds.

And of course, everyone seems to have a guardian angel. The one who watches out for them, prevents that car accident, stops the bullet from hitting you.

If you’re a Christian, you believe in the existence of angels because… well, because the Bible records them. In crucial moments in history, angels have heralded news to mankind. Think of the angel staying Abraham’s knife-wielding hand over Isaac. Or the fourth person in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Jesus?). Or even the troops that announced the birth of our Savior.

So I don’t doubt their existence. They may even interject into our modern day lives. Most of our uses of the word “angel” however? Well, maybe you could explain those away…

… maybe it was a fabricated story concocted by the over-imaginative mind of a young me told to entertain my parents…

… maybe it was just the light reflecting at all the right angles around a friend…

… perhaps the saving angel was just the grace of God preserving me through a phone call and a friendship…

… and maybe the angel was just a dream…

Sure, maybe my experiences aren’t angels in the true, classical sense. Maybe they’re not Gabriel or Michael. Yeah, I’m probably dubbing names on unique experiences and memories. But there is a reason why people want to believe in angels…. it’s hope. It’s hope in something more than this life, Someone higher than ourselves. Religious or not, we want to believe in heroes and the supernatural. Our hearts long for a wholly other.

Of course, angels aren’t the end all. They point to the ultimate messenger from God: God Himself in the form of a man — Jesus. We get to celebrate that He is our intermediary, our Hero, our hope.

All these other ideas we glorify, these other angels? Well they just point us to the greatness of our God. They remind us of the love of the Father.


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