In the Book of Isaiah we find the prophet making reference to a particular order of angels possessing six wings.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne …. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings…”
Not all the wings were used for flying –
“With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.”
Some scholars argue that, as elsewhere in the Old Testament, “feet” is a euphemism for the genitals. (It’s hard to believe that scholarly articles have been written on the subject of angelic genitalia and why would angels need any anyway? !)
Traditionally the pairs of wings have been seen as symbols of reverence, humility and service. When people are surprised and amazed, they cover their faces with their hands. So in the presence of God, the body language of Isaiah’s angels express their sense of reverence and awe. They reveal their humility and vulnerability in using their wings as fig leaves. From their position of reverence and humility they fly off in God’s service.
If any of us feel moved to be of service to our fellow human beings, we should display the same sense of reverence towards them and an awareness of our own vulnerability. Thinking we know exactly what is needed or wanted and belittling those in need is no way to help others feel more empowered.