by Janice Brown
(Title from Psalm 103:21)
Angels and devils are creatures of myth in the broadest sense, but they are also part of the true myth that is Christianity. Of devils, Lewis said that there are two equally serious errors: disbelief in them and an “excessive and unhealthy interest in them” (Preface to The Screwtape Letters).
The imaginative and theological cunning he brought to The Screwtape Letters made Lewis famous as a spokesperson for the demonic point of view—a point of view that was by his own confession a very oppressive one. Though The Screwtape Letters may be entertaining to read; Lewis did not find writing about devils pleasant. He did take much delight, however, in writing about their spiritual opposites, angels, in his fiction, non-fiction, letters, and poetry.
Several of his poems that are directly about angels, and these provide an introduction to Lewis’s sense of the nature of angels, and—by means of contrast—create a particular perspective on what it means to be human. Some deal with the inability of angels to understand human experience, and the idea that humans reflect the divine nature in a way that angels cannot.