When angelic visitors unexpectedly turned up within the Jewish Scriptural accounts of Divine visitation, it seems to have been a pretty terrifying experience.
Well, by all accounts they were big, fiery, and definitely not human! Enough for their human host to nearly pass out with fright. Their old fight or flight wiring hadn’t a chance; instead the traumatized soul just froze with fear and collapsed in a heap.
So why the angel angle?
Well, more often than not the first utterance of the heavenly visitor was paradoxically, ‘Fear not !’
A bit late methinks but, I guess, somewhat reassuring to the wilted soul lying before them.
This has got me thinking.
God and His/Her sidekicks aren’t really into fear as a motivational emotion.
Fear stems from the perceived threat of annihilation and Divine Love doesn’t do that, having too much respect for the countless projections of its image in the sons and daughters of Adam, no matter how dysfunctional they are.
Yet, bizarrely we walk along our religio-spiritual path, subliminally motivated by this nagging fear of Divine rejection both here and in the reality beyond death.
Let’s face it, fear is more prevalent than trust in our day-to-day psycho-spiritual lives. It has been programmed into our central nervous system for survival but has gone into hyper-drive mode following our brushes with early life trauma, either real or illusory.
My premise is that much religio-spiritual belief and practice is conceived and birthed in the womb of fear. We believe in our heads that God has somehow forgiven us but deep within the darkness of our inner world we sure as hell don’t really believe it. Like an abusive parent we just don’t trust the Divine Father/Mother who might suddenly lash out at us after a session of normal family life.
Our early childhood experiences of parental rejection and overbearing physical and emotional power makes it difficult to take Divine Love at its word. We live in a somewhat schizophrenic world comprising moments of protective belief mixed with the angst of subconscious fear.
Unfortunately we don’t have to have been around religious circles for too long before this schizophrenic nature of our faith life is reinforced. Like all of us, those who appear to Model the love of the Divine Father/Mother often have a dark side that only pops up under extreme pressure. With one swipe of a Bible text the trusting child-like follower can be sent into the religious equivalent of the naughty chair, or, more insidiously, wounded by words claimed to be Divine in origin.
Is it any wonder that so many folk drop out of such a religious environment; one that promises much but more often than not, reopens and deepens the inner wounding of pre-birth and early childhood. Frankly put, many leave to maintain their sanity. The overlay of spiritual abuse on top of the psychic tears of childhood, is too much to bear. The average God follower can’t handle this extra parental abuse in the guise of spiritual discipline or righteous anger.
The disillusionment that often follows this dashing of our God dreams within religious community is our protective shell against further rejection and pain. ‘Enough is enough,’ the wounded child screams out. ‘Who needs this stuff?’
Who needs it indeed?
True faith or trust is birthed in the healing Presence of Divine Love and nowhere else. Only Other can get into our psychic nooks and crannies where we hide from our past and present abusers. When we set our hopes of psychic healing on religious salesmen and their business-like pseudo-communities we’re making a big and painful mistake. Like a quick acting pain-killer the effect of our involvement will dull the inner pain for a while, but only leave us with deeper wounds for future healing.
So back to our angel friends!
‘Fear not Beloved of God, you Child of Divine Love. Arise into the wholeness of Being that flows from Source, the One who birthed you before the wounds of man etched their deadening pain on your innocence of soul. Let my touch extract the torment of those slashes on your infant psyche, rejections fused in womb dark days, the piercings of a tender heart that came from the innermost Mind of God.’
Have we met our angel unawares?
I doubt it.
May the Messengers of Healing Love invade the psychic fortress of our hidden pain, pull out the thorn of parental threat and lift us to our Spirit feet, to walk again in Eden’s Peace.
Trust not Fear.