Today is the second day of Advent, so we will have a second look not at just one angel today, but a few.
Today I was thinking about what makes an angel an angel, artistically speaking. I did a couple of things to pare down angel-ness to essentials and, with one of the concepts, presented the idea to a selected group of "men on the street" for evaluation.
|Gather very basic materials.|
First I made a very simple wire form to express angel-ness. It used a minimum of lines and angles to see how reduced the form could be, while still expressing the the idea.
|Take one rusty wire.....|
Then I used another wire, of better quality, and added some decorative elements to upgrade the relatively same form.
Then I tried a little exercise. I cut out a few simple elements and took them individually to my "men-on-the-street" to see what they would do with them. It was interesting. First, each handled them, then without prompting started immediately to turn and position them to make a word (because they were foremost letters). Then I asked him to make an angel (one did that before I even asked).
|Cut out very simple forms. Discard the upper ones.|
|First Man: He arranged this without prompting....|
|.... then this when directed to make an angel.|
The point was that each found an angel in those simple un-angel-y elements, so the essence of angel was distilled from what was available: that essence being a spirit element takes a form (body shape), it is sentient so has a head, and it is heavenly so has wings. VOILA, angel.
|Second man: in very few manipulations, without prompting, he arranged this.....|
|.... and afterward made this word. (Note he was the only one who did not feel compelled to use all the elements, but only the ones he needed to say what he wished.)|
You might want to try it with your "people-on-the-street" to see what they find. Mine enjoyed the little exercise.
|Third man: first he arranged this, and was not happy with it.....|
|... so he got more creative and made this (Latin root form of "to live").....|
|.... and when asked to make an angel, he made this.|
|Fourth man: he made this immediately ....|
|..... and when asked to make an angel, he came up with almost the same design as the previous man's angel.|
Angels are bearers of messages from God, so it behooves us to think about their example, too, in this season. Let us here, each day, look at a heavenly message with each day's messenger :
Today, the First Message of the Saviour, Genesis 3: 15, in which God curses the serpent as the embodiment of the devil, and in that curse adds a promise. So the curse was dreadful news for the recipient, but good news to the bystanders, who had participated in the evil and deserved the curse, too. The curse became a blessing in that it promised a Saviour to right the wrongs of the fallen and to crush the tempter-to-evil. For the two evil doers, who now knew good and evil from the wrong side, they now knew enough to ashamed. But the curse brought with it a covering for their shame, at first a temporary covering for their physical shame from the hide of a slain beast, but later a full and eternal covering for all their and their descendants' internal shame from the more valuable slaying of the most precious of all Lives.
It is good for us to remember how God always shows us mercy, even in the most dreadful of trials or chastisements, or even in little unpleasantnesses that disturb our equilibrium as He re-directs our attention to Himself; and even if we cannot see it immediately, He works that seeming terrible curse, or unpleasantness, to be a blessing for us. Always. That is Grace.
That is something we can tell someone, and thus be a bearer of God's message.