On top of the entertainment center in our now-decorated living room, there sits an angel with a red dress, bare feet, and flyaway auburn hair which cascades over her shoulders.
About 10 inches in size, and purchased at the after-Christmas sale two years ago, she quickly won my granddaughter’s heart and is, arguably, Mikayla’s favorite Christmas decoration.
I say “arguably” because she is also extremely fond of the woodland Santa Claus.
As I describe this angel to you, you must see that her facial expression, her demeanor, and her presence are that of a slightly unorthodox angel. She looks like an angel who danced too late into the night and is having trouble waking up, or an angel who might hide a pack of Salems under her wing, or an angel whose unbridled mouth might get her in trouble.
She is, in short, a slightly flawed angel, not in how she is made, but in her angel-essence.
Perhaps this is why my adorable and admittedly imperfect granddaughter is so drawn to her.
This is the time of year when we ought to embrace the flawed angels in our lives.
I, personally, have never been overly fond of angels that are too perfect, too otherworldly, too ethereal. I remember as being laughable the inevitably blond haired, white robed, open mouthed ceramic choir angels that populated our china closet when I was a child.
Flawed angels- do you know any?
The slightly rumpled young man who is inevitably late for any appointment.
The woman who tries and tries but cannot seem to get her emotions under control.
The person with a heart of gold but whose lifestyle is such that — well, you might not call it holy.
Biblically speaking, an angel is a supernatural creation, distinct and unique, not a part of the human race, not what happens to us when we die.
The Hebrew and Greek words signify “messenger”, and in the Biblical context, that obviously means messenger of the Divine. Therefore, any idea that the angels of the Lord look like our fabrications is, at best, anthropomorphic.
Having gotten that into our minds, let’s go back to our original theme with clearer eyes.
If Mikayla chooses to see, in the high-spirited, slightly disheveled, wild-haired Celtic princess angel, her concept of what an angel is, who can tell her she is wrong?
Within that theme, another important facet is the messenger concept.
You see, we are the flawed angels, at least I admit that I am. Each of us may be the angel, the messenger, unawares in the life of some other person, and hopefully each of us is honest enough to admit that he or she is flawed.
It’s also incumbent on each of us to recognize the “flawed angels” around us. To embrace, uplift, inspire the one whose wing is broken, whose robe is tattered, whose halo is sitting at an angle.
This is the true magic of the season.