The Problem of Self-image and the Ethereal

…the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

This time of year assaults us with the obvious “too much” of the holiday season: red and green, Santas, nativity scenes, silver bells and sensory overload at every turn.

During this season, we also see the abundance of angels. It’s almost as much of an association with Christmas as the Baby Savior Himself.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13-14

Indeed, angels are everywhere throughout Scripture:

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Psalm 91:11

“The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.” Matthew 13:41

And he saith unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” John 1:51

Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Isaiah 6:2-4

Yeah, angels, angels, everywhere.

And, in and of itself, that’s okay. However, things can go wonky when we come to the table with our own thoughts about anything, angels included.

Now we’re in my domain. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with angels. It had nothing to do with them being messengers of the Most High.

C’mon, let’s be real. It did, however, have everything to do with their beauty. As a little girl, what wasn’t to love about them? The silky, (usually blonde) flowing hair, the beautiful glowing faces, the exquisite wings and gowns, often trimmed with gold. Angels are beautiful. We’re drawn in, transfixed. And some of us even create beauty templates based upon those images. I did.

At the height of my anorexia, I strove to weigh as little as possible, to embody a fragile image. Emaciated equaled fragile; fragile equaled ethereal. And ethereal equaled beautiful. There have been, after, no overweight angels (with the exception of cherubs), unless used for some kind of comic effect. Indeed, when it comes to reverential depiction of holiness and all things Divine, angels are beautiful; they are ethereal.

Again, in and of itself, nothing wrong with that.

But all ethereal is not good ethereal. Or, as 2 Corinthians 11:14 puts it…

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.


Yes, for some of us out there, a beautiful, delicate appearance may hide an ugly and dangerous reality. Especially when it concerns anorexia. For me, it did not take long for peoples’ comments of “Sheryle, you’re thin” or “Sheryle, you’ve lost weight” to go from a compliment to worried statement. And a delicate aesthetic soon turned into a life-threatening reality. If 100 pounds was ethereal, how much more would 90 pounds or lower be? You see the mind game in full effect, don’t you?

And I played that game, never realizing how I was already amazing, beautiful and destined for Elohim’s purpose.

…I am fearfully and wonderfully made… Psalm 139:14

“Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.” Song of Solomon 1:15

“O my dove…let me see your form…for your form is lovely.” Song of Solomon 2:14

“Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” Song of Solomon 4:7

…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

No angelic resemblance required.

And speaking of angelic resemblance, look again at what Scripture has to say about that:

You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor. Hebrews 2:7

Not too shabby.

It’s no secret human beings are attracted to beauty. After all, we take after The One Who creates beauty.

And this time of year, with dramatic displays of such glorious beauty, spectacular angels included, we will come face to face with the luster of the ethereal.

Some of us may, therefore, need to heed the caution of being triggered by these, our image issues. Let’s, the, leave the ethereal to the angels, while remembering and reveling in our own incredible value, worth and, yes, beauty.

We ARE fearfully and wonderfully made, as is, right now, period. Our Creator has decided; it is so.

Let’s agree with Him and enjoy not just the holiday season, but our entire lives, fully realizing and celebrating how beyond ethereal we truly are!