White Angels? - A Commentary and Poem About Angels
Why Are Angel's Dressed in White?
Why are angels usually perceived as being dressed in white, and white-skinned? Is it because white is a colour that is seen as representing goodness and purity? I have often wondered this, and if angels do exist wouldn't they come adorned in robes of many colours, and have skin colours representing every race created by God?
You hear or read of someone describing a 'near-death' experience:
"My life flashed before my eyes ... At the last minute, I peered up at this brilliant light and a Holy angel dressed in white descending over me ... etc."
You don't hear: "..and at the moment of the impact an angel appeared resplendent in beautiful robes of red and chartreuse."
The Bible describes what some angels look like but not all. For instance, only the cherubim and seraphim are attributed to possessing wings. Whenever other angels have appeared to humans in the Bible there is no indication that they had wings, and when they do appear before humans they are usually in the form of men, not women. The belief that they have white skin and play the harp is not found anywhere in the Bible.
If we go by the various mentions of angels found in the Bible, a good general description of an "ordinary" angel would be a tall young man with a shining/glowing face (and possibly golden hair) wearing a simple white robe, and who DOESN'T have wings. However, it is also said that we wouldn't mistake them for anything else.
The concept of white representing good takes me back to the old western movies where the good guys like The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy etc always wore white hats, whereas the villains or bad guys wore black hats. Using that synopsis if good angels always wear white it should be plausible to assume that fallen angels such as Lucifer would wear black.
I Know I Saw an Angel - a Poem
I may have seen an angel,
I think I glimpsed a wing.
It had a shiny glowing face
And the presence of a king.
I think I saw an angel,
It had flowing locks of gold,
A halo floated o'er its head,
And a sceptre did it hold.
I might have seen an angel,
It was dressed in white with wings.
I'm sure it plays a golden harp,
and is soprano when it sings.
I know I saw an angel,
It wore a shirt and jeans.
It had no wings, halo, or harp,
But assisted those in need.
Off the Shelf - White Angel
I gave my Off the Shelf series a few months break, but guess what? It's back. For any new readers or those of you who aren't familiar with the series, it is where I get my inspiration for a poem or article from the title of a book (usually a novel) from my bookcase. In most cases what I write has no other connection with the book I choose other than the name.
This time I chose a novel called White Angel written by Gary Gottesfeld (published 1995). Most people who write book reviews choose popular books by well-known authors. In many cases, I don't. A lot of my books have come from second-hand book stores or the like and if the story sounds appealing I will give it a try, whether or not I have heard of the author.
I admit to not being familiar with Gary Gottesfeld before, but believe me, after reading this I will be looking for more books by him. White Angel is one of those thrillers that grab your attention right from the start and you have trouble putting down.
Gary Gottesfeld was born in Brooklyn, graduating with degrees in theatre and education from New York University. He worked as a probation officer in New York jails before moving to Los Angeles to become the chief copywriter in a large advertising agency. Subsequently, he became a journalist specializing in the entertainment industry. Other novels by him include The Violet Closet, Blood Harvest, and Ill Wind.
I took this book with me when I went on my road trip to Darwin. A week on the road with no TV or other distractions gave me plenty of time to devote to reading at night and I am glad I chose to take this novel with me. I can thoroughly recommend it.
"When Malia O'Toole was just four years old, her parents were brutally murdered in their bed. Malia was in the room at the time, but all she remembers seeing was a white angel with a fiery sword.
Now years later, Malia has returned to Hawaii to research the biography of a prominent general and war hero. And, as she probes the great soldier's past, dark and terrifying secrets emerge which begin to reveal the truth about her parents' hideous murder."— Gary Gottesfeld - White Angel
© 2019 John Hansen