Decembers guest blog for 'Pictures of Love' is by Rev. Elaine Lindridge, she is the District Evangelism Enabler for the Newcastle Upon Tyne Methodist District, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog or any of the other blogs in the series. We would also wish you a joyous and peaceful Christmas.
I just love this view from my house – and as I look out on a morning I see Britain’s largest sculpture. I remember watching on the day this giant angelic work of art was hoisted up & then dropped into the ground – that was February 1998. How amazing, not just because it’s a work of art, but because it’s an angel! And for me it reminds me of where I belong. And when I’m driving up or down the A1, I see this magnificant angel, Jumbo Jet wing arms outstretched, kind of welcoming me home.
The Angel of The North has been described as a symbol of renewal or regeneration, which is really appropriate to this region as we’ve undergone massive social and economic change. It’s also significant because the Angel has changed this unused ground, this ‘no space’ into ‘significant space’…some might even dare to call it, ‘holy space’.
The artist who created this angelic sculpture, Antony Gormley, has said of the Angel
‘I want to make something we can live with and that becomes a reservoir for feelings – feelings that perhaps we hadn’t known about until this thing was there, or feelings that couldn’t arise until it was’.
Throughout time there have been reports of encounters with angels, and they’re not just confined to the times when the Bible was written. I’ve always thought it must be pretty terrifying to see an angel - not some cute kid dressed up in a nativity play, but a real one, a messenger of God. I wonder, ‘what’s the message that we need to hear today?’
I think most of us have feelings that go deaper than perhaps we admit even to ourselves, but betray our need for more than a mortal life offers. There’s something within every human spirit that always seeks to reach out for more, for something higher. To reach beyond our ordinariness to something remarkable & special. In a spiritual sense, as you lift your head to look up at the Angel, you look away from self and from earth to what some would call the heavens. Maybe this Angel of The North is indeed a messenger too. It’s message serving as a reminder to look up from what sometimes seems the trivia of our day to day living and consider what might be of eternal significance.