The cuteness of angels?

One of the Weeping Angels from the Doctor Who TV series

The image of angels is feminine and cute, girls with tinsel halos at the school nativity play, those pottery Lladró angels… everything is about cuteness.

Trust the BBC’s long-running family science fiction series Doctor Who to reverse that with the weeping Angels, creatures that move at lightning speed and steal your time energy except when they are being observed and become statues. The weeping angels have become one of the most popular alien species in the programme.

Back to cuteness, putti, chubby, naked, male human babies with little wings are seen all over Renaissance art. The putto (singular form) came to represent the sacred cherub or cherubim. But the cherubim are nothing like that. The Cherubim are the mighty warriors amongst the ranks of angels. Think about that the next time someone looks at a small child and says, “Isn’t she a cherub.”

People have different greetings, amongst them Hello, Good morning and How are you? The Angelic greeting in the Bible is often, “Do not be afraid.” Would a cute little angel, a putto or a Lladró style angel need to say that? No. Angels in the Bible, except for when they are disguised as humans, say “Fear not” because they are terrifying, having come directly from the presence of God. But they are messengers of a loving God, so there is nothing to fear if you should meet one.

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