A picture of a little sandal-footed angel reminded me of gate-keepers everywhere, protecting our backs (and fronts too, for that matter) from the rigors and threats and temptations of our day. An angel looks like—well, we don't know, do we? We like to imagine them as majestic and powerful, ungendered, beautiful—just the way the Renaissance painters presented them to us.
Or little baby angels, putti, smiling enigmatically, cheek resting on hand, blond curls topping sweet faces.
What an angel looks like is totally beside the point. They may not even have an "appearance," a physical manifestation. Perhaps they are no more—and no less—than a felt sense in our bodies, our awareness that we are supported and surrounded by Universal love.
But that doesn't prevent us from doing what we humans like to do: imagining the look of something, and drawing that image. So in the picture I saw the angel wore a shapeless long red gown. Its feet were in clunky sandals, its wings were feathered, and it had a dear little happy face drawn with an impossibly fine pen. Topping it all was the halo, the artistic convention representing the aura, the energy field of the body. Because enlightened/holy people (though angels aren't "people") supposedly have richer, more visible auras, they are often depicted with haloes. It might be helpful to remember that a halo is within the grasp of each of us.