What is an angel? I recently had a lengthy conversation with my Lenten small group about what an angel is, and wanted to share some thoughts.
Growing up, I always pictured an angel as a glowing figure clothed in white, with a glittering halo around their head, floating up in the clouds as they delivered God’s message. If you asked me for an example of an angel, I would probably just list Gabriel, the angel that tells Mary that she will become pregnant. I might have also mentioned the angel from “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but I hadn’t thought much farther about angels than that.
We talked about how angels are messengers, and help people to understand God’s will. This description fits the angel Gabriel, as well as Clarence from “It’s a Wonderful Life” but what if this is expanded beyond the bible, into our lives? Are there still angels today? I like the way that we talked about it in our small group. With this definition, there is nothing about wings or halos, which allows us to expand our understanding of angels to people that we meet in our lives.
There are so many people that I talk to, whether it be for a moment, or for hours, that help me to gain some clarity on the events in my life. I also have people who are by my side through the toughest times who have given me strength and helped me to see the light through the tunnel. I believe that these people are angels. They don’t need to be in a white cloak or shimmering, I can tell through their actions.
I am immensely grateful that God has blessed me with these angels in my life, and hope that I can be as instrumental in the lives of others.
The words of Francesca Battistelli’s song “Angel By Your Side” come to mind as I reflect on the angel’s I encounter daily:
“I’ll be the angel by your side
I will get you through the night
I’ll be the strength you can’t provide on your own
‘Cause when you’re down and out of time
And you think you’ve lost the fight
Let me be the angel
The angel by your side”