?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Poem: "The Invisible Things of Him" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Invisible Things of Him"

This poem was written outside the Poetry Fishbowl project, in response to a comment from siege under "Cherubim and Seraphim."  It has been sponsored by kestrels_nest.  This poem belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.


The Invisible Things of Him


"Why wings?" said the priest.
"I've been wondering since it happened to me,
and now it's happening to even more people.
Why is God giving us wings?"

"Perhaps we could look for other examples,"
said the angel who had once been a devil.
He never tired of the Bible now that he could touch it
and study the jumble of words of God and man.

"Well, there is Psalm 91:4," said the priest.
"He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

"It could be meant as protection,"
the priest concluded, leafing through his Bible.
"Protection from what?" asked the angel.
"I have no idea," said the priest. 

His dove wings were lovely but they
did not seem to offer much shelter.
Then again, sometimes he wrapped them
around the angel for comfort.  It could be.

"There's Revelation 12:14," the priest went on.
"But the woman was given the two wings
of the great eagle so that she might
fly from the serpent into the wilderness ..."

"Who has eagle wings?" the angel asked.
"No one that I know of," the priest says.
"It seems to be sparrows and doves, like us --
though anything could happen, I suppose."

"Maybe another verse will be more relevant,"
said the angel.  He was trying to learn patience,
which was supposed to be a Virtue,
which was new to him and still elusive.

"True," the priest mused.  He turned a page.
"Here ... Ecclesiastes 10:20 says,
For a bird of the sky may carry your voice,
And that which has wings may tell the matter."

"That which has wings," the angel repeated.
"Does that mean angels or the Holy Spirit?"
"It can," said the priest, "although the Bible
rarely attributes wings to angels."

"Then why do humans depict them so?"
the angel asked.  "Why do you and I have wings?"
"Well, angels -- the real angels of God -- can be
kind of scary and hard to understand," said the priest.

"Spheres of wings, turning wheels,
animal faces, burning light, countless eyes --
they sound like infernal spirits," said the angel.
"No wonder people are afraid."

"It's more than that," said the priest.
"Holy things can be ... very bright, very intense."
The angel thought about how such things had burned
the servants of Hell, and nodded vigorously.

"True angels are spirits," the priest continued.
"They can be like balls of fire, their wings ribbons of light.
They can be no more than a shimmer in the air,
like heat waves above a desert.  They are not solid like birds."

"So the wings are ... a way to make angels seem familiar?"
the angel said.  It was true that his own were unassuming.
"Wings can be a cover, yes," the priest said, "or a metaphor,
symbolizing something else that can't be seen."

"What could they symbolize?" asked the angel.
"Ascension, spiritual mobility," the priest said,
"higher realms of the spirit, higher evolution of the soul.
Anything to do with rising toward God, really."

"Except that we can't fly," the angel pointed out.
"No, but we look  like angels," the priest said.
"We can look at each other and be reminded
of God's invisible presence all the time."

"The invisible made visible," the angel said.
"Oh!" said the priest.  "There's a verse,
a verse about that exactly, if I can find it..."
He flipped rapidly through he Bible.

"Romans 1:20," he read, "For the invisible things of Him
since the creation of the world are clearly seen,
being perceived through the things that are made,
even His everlasting power and divinity ..."

"When I worked in Hell," the angel said suddenly,
"it was my task to dig out the buried truths from damned souls
and confront them with such for their everlasting torment.
But sometimes it took them out of my reach instead."

"That which is unseen can be very powerful
when revealed at last," the priest agreed.
The angel who had been a devil traced a finger
along the gilt edges of the Bible's page.

"God has sent many messengers, told many people
what to do, yet only some follow," the angel said.
"This time there is no message, no angelic ball of fire,
just people who suddenly look like they think angels look."

"Perhaps," the priest said, "God has decided
that telling hasn't worked very well,
and that it's time to try showing instead."
"Showing what?" the angel asked.

They spread their wings, dove and sparrow,
fledged priest and risen devil,
looked at their own and each other's,
touched the feathers with reverent fingertips.

The wings were silent and beautiful,
saying nothing, showing only
God's work and no sense of direction.
"I am not certain," the priest admitted.

* * *

Notes:

Angels have many symbolic meanings.  Their wings represent the higher evolution of the soul and higher realms of existence, along with motions such as ascension and spiritual mobility.  The presence of angel wings is a deep mystery.

Two of the quotes come from this collection of Bible verses about wings:

Romans 1:19-20
19 because that which is known by YHVH is revealed in them, for YHVH revealed it to them (His Elect).
20 For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity; that they (Natural Man) may be without excuse
.

Ecclesiastes 10:20
20
Don't revile the king, no, not in your thoughts; And don't revile the rich in your bedchamber: For a bird of the sky (PNEUMA) may carry your voice, And that (Messenger Angel) which has wings ("Kanaph" or within the Sacred Pneuma of Love) may tell the matter.

Other quotes come from separate sources ...

Revelation 12:14
English Standard Version (ESV)
14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

Psalm 91:4
English Standard Version (ESV)
4
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

3 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
fayanora From: fayanora Date: November 25th, 2013 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Angels are weird. The "humans with wings" thing is not biblical at all. Someone once drew pictures of angels by their biblical descriptions, and most of them look more like demons or monsters. Probably why most biblical encounters with angels start with something along the lines of "Now don't freak out, I'm an angel of the Lord."

Heck, one of them looked a LOT like the Angel Of Death from Hellboy 2.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 25th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

It's true that some depictions of angels are very creepy. I came across that -- along with references to multiple wings -- while researching this series. I figure that while humans who gain wings may look fairly normal, spirits created originally as angels include some of the really freaky examples.
3 comments or Leave a comment