(First and foremost, this article is not written to put anyone down, to be a detriment to one’s stature in a church setting, or to say that anyone is wrong. It is merely an article to make one think. And pondering life’s little mysteries are just one of the great gifts we have all been given by our Higher Power! I realize that many of you call your Higher Power differing names but in this article I choose to call our Higher Power God, for ease in writing.)
What do Angels look like? It is interesting that this answer all depends on who you ask. If you ask a fire and brimstone preacher it will be a fire and brimstone Angel. These Angels are strong masculine beings with swords, shields, and angry looking faces. If you ask a man that is one of the higher ranking men within a church system you may get the answer that all Angels in the Bible are depicted as being male, and there is a Hierarchy of Angels. And if you ask someone like me, you will get the answer that there are as many different forms being shown to us as there are people on the earth, depending on what we are in need of. (And that is a LOT of forms…over 7 Billion by last estimate!)
If you read the Bible, which I do sometimes when I want to check out things like this specifically, you would find out that not all Angels appear to be of masculine form. It is inferred sometimes but it is also outright told to us that an Angel has appeared as a burning bush as well! Most of the passages will just say Angel. Not he, not him, not the man, nor anything that comes close to this “fact”. But, in some of the passages it clearly states that a man was seen; therefore, it is assumed by some that ALL Angels are then men. Ok?!? Well, I was an A student in my Philosophy studies in college and I can comfortably say, this is not logic, it is assumption.
So here is my logic. We have been told throughout time, through various accounts, that Angels are messengers, guardians, warriors, guides, supporters, etc., etc. They are, what one might say, in the service department. They provide service to both God and to God’s people. Whatever service they are providing will be the form they take. From countless examples of what people have seen throughout the world this has been the case. I don’t believe that from this logic can we clearly say what Angels truly look like in their “natural” form. It could be that their natural form, as well as God’s “natural” form is pure light and love. I believe this would be difficult to give form. I dare anyone to try and paint pure love. Since we, as humans, cannot even fathom what “pure” love would look like then Angels appear the way we as individuals perceive them. I doubt a young child sees an Angel as a warrior but rather a child, or perhaps a mother figure so as not to be fearful. Mary, the mother of Jesus in the Bible, saw the messenger Angel Gabriel as being a man. This would make sense, as women of that time saw men as being authoritative and she would be more likely to believe someone who “looked” like they had authority. And someone who has been severely injured by people in the past may very likely see an Angel in the form of an animal because it would more likely give them a feeling of pure love and understanding. And someone who is frightened may need a strong Angel with a sword and shield and that is what they see.
I believe I have seen Angels. I have seen bright lights and I have seen them look like you and I. And one thing I know for certain, I have never been frightened of them. So, whether they look like men, women, children, cherubs, animals or they have wings or not. Whether they play harps or have beautiful voices, Angels take form as we need them to take form. I believe God is love; therefore, I see Angels in forms of love. What do you think Angels look like? No matter what, I can’t imagine that you are wrong.
One last thing before I go. And I realize that I may get some flack over this as well. As long as I am just spouting my opinions…the whole God made man in “his” likeness needs pondering. First of all, God looking like men with two arms, two legs, no breasts, and well you know…comes from the line that God created “man” in God’s likeness. What is curious is that at no time, for those wanting to look it up, does the Bible say that the likeness is just the physical! In God’s “likeness” could refer to what is inside the heart and soul of people and NOT what we look like on the outside? It could be that since being banished from Eden, God’s likeness is no longer there? Or perhaps God’s likeness has been here all along? Perhaps we have trouble seeing it? Or maybe, as with the Angels, we believe it must look a certain way and we miss it altogether? Just thinking.
And there it is, for what it’s worth, my opinion.