The glory of lightning

by Kevin Birnbaum

Today was an absurdly rainy day in Seattle, but no lightning. Sadly, we don’t get much lightning around here. It’s too bad, because lightning is a beautiful thing—bright and bold and dangerous. Plus, it’s what angels look like:

Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen as he said.” (Mt 28:1-6)

Matthew gets it right—angels, like lightning, are both dazzling and scary, if they get too close. As with lightning, most of the time we’d prefer that the supernatural just kept its distance.

Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos.