Angel Baby: Does My Angel Baby Watch Over Me?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I had a difficult time writing this one. It was virtually impossible to write it without coming out as hard-hearted. I refer back to my original disclaimer:

{Disclaimer— what I am writing comes after a lot of soul-searching and going through the worst part of the bereavement process.

It's been five years since my daughter died. I have not always felt this way, and in the early stages of my bereavement I was very antagonistic to information like this. Please note that I am not attempting to guilt or push anyone into a premature reconciliation with God when they don’t feel open to this yet.

See HERE and HERE for some early (poorly written) posts regarding the anger and mistrust I felt in my initial grieving period.

Do not read this if you aren't ready for a conversation about deep theology.

Don't read this if you are in a sensitive stage where every comment stings.

You may not want to read if you're having a bad day, depending on where you are in your grief and how you practice your faith -- some may find this initially harsh but ultimately very comforting. Some may not.

This is a brutal honesty post. Last warning. }

The idea of the angel baby, in terms of child loss, is one of the most pervasive myths we have to contend with. In addition, most of what must be said regarding angels has been addressed in the two previous posts. Are we able to communicate with our dead children, and have they gone to heaven or are they here?

I will be referencing the previous posts heavily for explanations of supernatural contact and what happens when we die. In this post, I will mostly be focusing on information about the nature of angels, as characterized in the Bible.

One of the most ubiquitous characterizations of our babies, after death, is that of "angel baby". We have tattoos of cherubs sleeping in the curve of angel wings, memorial stones which say "our angel", and at least three dozen Facebook support groups which have the words "angel mom" in their title.

The only problem with this is that no major religion believes that humans turn into angels after death. {The closest approximation I found was the Catholic concept of sainthood -- and saints are not angels.}

Since this post is intended for Christians, I am focusing on what Christianity teaches about angels. You can look HERE to see what other religions teach about the transition between life and death, and the nature of angels.

Biblically speaking, angels are distinct creations -- not human, not animal, not God. A completely separate race of spirit beings. They were all created before any of us ever drew our first breath {meaning there are no new angels being born} and they do not die.

Job 38:4-7 says: "Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone -- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?"

They are separate from creation. Eternal.

Angels are not human, and some of the contemporary physical descriptions of their manifestations are quite frightening. In ancient art some angels are depicted as having the bodies of lions or bears.

Ezekiel 1:10 says:

"Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back."

One constant in the hundreds of mentions of angels in the Bible is their nature as messengers and ministers to human beings. They come to bring us comfort, to protect us, and to announce great news.

They lead us away from this world into the next when we die. They carried our babies away at their death.

It's difficult for us to wrap our minds around the idea that we won't see our babies during this lifetime.

Like the psychics I wrote of before, who promise connections with our loved one, this idea of humans becoming angels and watching out for us -- communicating with us -- can be comforting.

It makes the unending day much shorter to imagine our child sitting close by and protecting us. But as I wrote in my first post, if this is the case, then the rest of the promise is a lie.

Biblically speaking: we do not hang around the earth when we die. Any other claim is false. This includes coming back as an angel.

Not only that, but when we seek this type of connection, we are actively seeking to turn ourselves away from God. Throughout the Bible we see almost three hundred instances of angels appearing. In every single story, the angel is a minor player, and their purpose is to turn the focus towards God.

That's what we need to remember in all of this mess: keep the focus on God.

This belief in "angel babies" doesn't focus us on God. It focuses us more deeply on our grief and loss. It focuses us so deeply in our grief that we may forget the other part of the story.

In essence, we are focusing our view on the tomb, and ignoring the stone which has been rolled away.

Now, this isn't to say there is a set  time to grieve our losses -- and only you can navigate the terrain for yourself. I'm not judging those who can't see the stone rolled away because of their pain. I couldn't see it either.... Or, for a while, I didn't care to see it.

But in the long-run how much better is the promise the resurrection brings, than anything the world has to offer?

All three of these posts come down to the same concepts at heart: Trust that God's got you in this.

Psalm 34:18 says:

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."

Don't set up idols in your heart which will turn you away from Him.

1 John 2:15 says:

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Don't involve yourself in things which could lead you away from Him.

Leviticus 19:31 says:

"Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God."

Turn to Him -- and only to Him -- for comfort and strength in this.

Proverbs 3:5&6 says:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

I refer, once again, to a quote from my initial post, regarding our place in the world:

"We are the people of Easter, and Hallelujah is our song."

Tweet: "We are the people of Easter, and Hallelujah is our song." --->>

We are the Easter people.

The resurrected in Christ.

This promise is for us, and it's also for our children.

If you have any thoughts about this or either of the two previous posts, I would love to hear them. I welcome any comment -- even if it disagrees with my own perception -- as long as the tone is respectful and the initial caution {that this may not be the appropriate subject for newly bereaved or struggling moms} is understood.

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