An Advent Table: The Archangel in the Home

As some already know, i find such a draw to the "angel in the home" image as a model of femininity. Its feels to be connected to Proverbs 8 and to Mary of Bethany, and is sadly neglected in a world where we think Proverbs 31 and Martha is "the" model of Biblical femininity rather than one of them. Just looking at all the different Biblical models we have, God sure seems to understand we have different tempurments. Our ultimate models are Christ and Our Blessed Mother of course, and all the smaller models are found contained within them, thats the miracle. But still the smaller models inspired from the rest of scripture do really help us i feel, just like how branching off stories that go into more detail about something can help us better understand things.

Anyway, lately its been dawning that maybe different models for different tempurments is part of headship too. The thing is, folks are often told of a model of headship that is pretty outward and blatent, and then women expect this model in their partners. But men have different tempurments. I turn around and look in "real life" here at my finace and see how his headship comes out so beautifully in ways that are just more subtle, a gentler leadership. And for what its worth, the image that keeps coming to to mind of this type of leadership is the "archangel" in the home.

Its what i've been feeling in my finace time and time again though i've had no words to call it anything. And its hard to explain, though a few examples do come up. For one, he is truly prayerful. I cannot even expresss how it feels to know he literally prays for me each and every day, and lays upon hands, and even prays for the protection of the little "abbey" here each time he goes out that both i and the home will be safe in his absence. It shows my heart that i'm being "covered" and there is something about the constancy there, the dailyness there, it weaves this subtle but strong holding.

I think the above is probably in all forms of headship. But it gets even more subtle. For example another thing that stands out is from earlier in our dating when we were researching our family geneologies (we're both history buffs). When he found out we were both heavily related to royalty i got excited but he shook his head. What he saw woven in there was too much power focus and bloodshed, and rather than bringing out pride it brought out a sadness in him. "No", he told me, "there must be something deeper and purer here". He was determined to find it, and prayerful about it, and then low and behold there it was, a lineage of descent from several saints, in particular a joint lineage we both have from St Helena of the Cross, and also a draw in ancestry to St Melangels unusually kind hearted benefactor which moved us both.

I think back on this and realize just how different our lives could have been if we'd had the original power hungry sort of royalty in the back of our minds as ancestral models rather than the saints in our lineage, how very different our lives could have been impacted. Now there is for example a picture of St Helena in the "abbey" here that i see everyday and that helps to direct one's thoughts more "heavenward" one might say. But I wonder if we had stayed on the mere royalty alone track as i was excited about... would there instead be a picture of ancestral kings and queens upon the wall who led less noble lives? Would that have then been what i saw each day subtly guiding and impacting? His redirecting our ancestral research and uncovering the saints feels to me like such a deep and impacting form of headship.

Another example happened just recently, revolving around of all things, a bird. I've been a bit fascinated with Northern Flickers becuase i find their feathers so beautiful. Before i left Portland, right at the end there was a flicker that i had seen alongside the trailer once and i never forgot it. But i had then looked them up on the internet and the first link i opened was an article of someone who'd had one come to nest by the house who drummed loudly on the roof in the early morns startling awake the whole household. After reading that, my initial draw to the Flicker was replaced with caution, becuase it horrified me to think of the loud noises they could make on the roof.

Then, after we moved up here, just last week i was talking to my partner about flickers, and that article, and how they are cute birds but i'd hate the noise especially on a thin roof like we have. That very day, i couldnt believe it, when i was taking a nap suddenly i heared this drum drum drum on the roof. Several times, going to the four corners, marking territory it sounded like or something. I knew instinctively it was a flicker and when i talked to my partner i wailed out my concern. What if its setting up its home here i said, i will go insane startled out of sleep everyday if he's up there all the time marking territory. He said well they dont drum everyday. This didnt make me feel much better, and i persisted, saying if it set up territory here and made that roof noise a lot then and we'd have to "send it to a better place" if we couldnt shoo it away somehow.

He refused believe this. "I am not hearing this", he said, "I know you wouldnt want to kill a little bird like that". Back and forth we went, with him stubbornly refusing to believe that was in me. And then a couple days later the flicker came back to the yard (quiet as can be btw) and bringing his family along and settleing themselves right outside my bedroom window pecking away the grass. I knew then my fiance had been right, there's no way i could have killed that little bird even if there'd been conflict, and it moved something inside that he had kept such stubborn faith in my better side. And that too is headship isnt it?

And i'm realizing so much can be invisible there too. When we had that big storm he took his bike (to save the car gas for emergency) and pedaled 25 bleepin miles (round trip) to get what i needed from the store to weather the storm (which was more than what he would have needed himself). In fact he goes to the store a lot for me in all times really, runs errands as a matter of course and (usually) without complaint. I'm realizing this sort of thing, just like the domestic stuff, is qoutidian, something you have to do over and get the things from the store one day and then soon its gone, nothing to show for it anymore, and you are having to do it all over again. This stuff thats more invisible, not seen for long before it needs doing yet again. And he helps with some of the domestic stuff as well and thats definitey quoitidian stuff...chopping the potatoes, scrubbing the frying pan, the stuff that tends to flare my injury up he really takes on when he is here. The angel in the home goes sadly unnoticed and undervalued today, but so too does the archangel in the home.

Anyway, this has just been on my mind lately. Whenever i come to a frustrating point in life lately i find myself saying "well what would an angel do?" and picturing how an angel in the home would do things, and this comforts and inspires me so much. But more and more i realize just how much an angel in the home needs her archangel : )

(inserted later:
a verse from the Talmud keeps coming to mind that struck me years ago, "we meet our maker in pairs"...)

(Image from

Blog Archive