like brooks that hold the sky

During my weekly chemotherapy appointment on Thursday I enjoyed rereading the collection of quotations by Abraham Joshua Heschel published in "I Asked for Wonder". Here are a few of my favorites ...

"It takes three things to attain a sense of significant being:
           A Soul
          And a Moment.
And the three are always there." (p. 65)

"To meditative minds the ineffable is cryptic, inarticulate: dots, marks of secret meaning, scattered hints, to be gathered, deciphered and formed into evidence; while in moments of insight the ineffable is a metaphor in a forgotten mother tongue." (p. 7)

"Awareness of God does not come by degrees
    from timidity to intellectual temerity;
    it is not a decision reached at the crossroads of doubt.
It comes when, drifting in the wilderness, having gone astray,
    we suddenly behold the immutable polar star.
Out of endless anxiety,
    out of denial and despair,
    the soul bursts out in speechless crying." (p. 7)

"God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light. He is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason.
 He is the light." (p. 6)

"Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart. Audacious longing, burning songs, daring thoughts, an impulse overwhelming the heart, usurping the mind - these are all a drive towards serving Him who rings our heart like a bell. It is as if He were waiting to enter our empty, perishing lives." (p. 15)

"Man is a messenger
who forgot the message." (p. 43)

"Man's sin is in his failure to live what he is.
Being master of the earth,
man forgets that he is servant of God." (p. 43)

"Living is not a private affair of the individual.
Living is what man does with God's time,
  what man does with God's world."  (p. 55)

"The Bible is primarily not man's vision of God
    but God's vision of man.
The Bible is not man's theology
    but God's anthropology." (p. 78)

"We live by the conviction that acts of goodness
reflect the hidden light of His holiness.
His light is above our minds
but not beyond our will.
It is within our power to mirror His unending love
in deeds of kindness,
like brooks that hold the sky." (p. 58)

- Abraham Joshua Heschel ("I Asked for Wonder")

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