My knitting is a blob of purple yarn, soon to become a cardigan for Sam, but right this second, while I’m knitting the shawl collar (on a 24″ circular needle), even I have trouble telling what it is. And I’ve been reading some great books lately. I’m now five books through an audio binge of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series and I just finished Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist. I owe y’all a major update on what I’ve read, but for today, I have thoughts on angels to share. (because it’s Wednesday, and I’m going to find some way to link up with Kat and friends about the knitting and the books!)
This lovely little book, a recommendation from Sarah Bessey, has joined the pile of books I pull from for morning reading. I had no idea what to expect, but I’ve been delighted. The book is broken into seven chapters, beginning with Unraveling a Season (Early Winter), moving to A Widening of the Imagination (Annunciation) and ultimately ending with Newness of Heart (New Year and Late Winter). This morning I read an essay from the second chapter titled “Angels”, by Luci Shaw. Angels have always fascinated me and I enjoyed Shaw’s dive into the history (from scripture to popular culture). It seems Angels are having a moment … and they’ve been having a moment for thousands of years!
She talks about C.S. Lewis’ Aslan “…angels are not safe (in the sense that they’re not comfortable and manageable), but they’re good … it’s all right for us to fee a healthy respect, even an awe, of angels.” (p. 45)
Can we see angels today? She quotes Frederick Buechner:
People see only what they expect to see … Since we don’t expect to see [angels], we don’t. An angel spreads its glittering wings over us, and we say things like, “it was one of those days that made you feel good just to be alive,” or “I had a hunch everything was going to turn out all right,” or “I don’t know where I ever found the courage, but I did.” (p. 48)
She closes with these words “Be alert for God’s surprises — messengers with messages that will startle us out of our complacency.” and a short prayer.
In the midst of everything that’s happening right now – the big and small, the good and bad, the hard and easy, the dark and light – I find great hope here. Be alert. Imagine.