In Other Words: Fear Not!

Every blade of grass has its angel that

bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”

The Talmud






All well and good for the grasses — but what about humans?

Writer Madeleine L’Engle liked to point out that when an angel appears to people in Scripture (and it happens quite frequently) the first words the angel says are invariably, “Fear not!” Which gives us a clue, Madeleine would say, that what angels actually look like, at least to humans, Β is not altogether reassuring and cozy!

She was an imposing figure herself, tall and imperious, an extraordinary woman as interested in science as in matters of faith. She knew whereof she spoke, in this case, as the name L’Engle means — Angel. I adored A Wrinkle in Time; does anyone else remember it?


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4 Responses to In Other Words: Fear Not!

  1. pauline says:

    I still have my tattered and dog-eared copy of Wrinkle In Time! I always thought the appearing angels meant, “Stop being afraid of whatever it is you’re afraid of.” Now I have a new take on the injunction, “Fear not.” I think I like my version better! πŸ™‚

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Upon thinking about it, I think the Fear not! of the angels immediately precedes, I bring you good tidings. (As in the Annunciation.) If that’s more reassuring? (Although an annunciation is actually pretty scary.)

      • pauline says:

        An annunciation IS scary – or at least THE one we know about was. I’d have run and hid, I’m sure. I’m still running and hiding πŸ˜‰

      • Touch2Touch says:

        They make it so pretty in all the paintings, too! Downcast eyes, illuminated book, lovely lilies. But I’m with you, move over in the closet and let me in!

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