In Man is not Alone the author, Abraham Joshua Heschel, a contemporary of Martin Luther King Jr., an anti-Vietnam war activist, and a profound religious thinker of the 20th Century. Speaks the indescribable nature of God:
A moment comes like a thunderbolt, in which a flash of the undisclosed rends our dark apathy asunder. It is full of overpowering brilliance, like a point in which all moments in life are focused, or a thought which outweighs all thoughts ever conceived of. There is so much light in our cage, in our world, it is as if we were suspended amidst the stars.
Apathy turns to splendor unawares. The ineffable has shuddered itself into the soul. It has entered our consciousness like a ray of light passing into a lake. Refraction of that penetrating ray brings about a turning in our mind: we are penetrated by God’s insight. We cannot think anymore as if God were there and we are here. God is both there and here. God is not a being, but Being in and beyond all beings.
A tremor seizes our limbs. Our nerves are struck, quiver like strings.
Our whole being bursts into shudders, but then a cry wrested from our very core fills the world around us as if a mountain were suddenly about to place itself in front of us.
It is one word: “God.”
Not an emotion, a stir within us, but a power, a marvel beyond us, tearing the world apart. The word that means more than Universe, more than Eternity. Holy! Holy! Holy!
We cannot comprehend it. We only know it means infinitely more than we are able to echo.
Staggered, embarrassed, we stammer and say, “God,” who is more than all there is, who speaks through the ineffable, whose question is more than our mind can answer; “God,” to whom our life can be the spelling of an answer.
This passage is so beautifully written that to add any commentary or context feels cheapening of the beauty of Heschel’s writing. What I will say, is that my core hope is that my life spells the essence of God in a tangible way. Similarly, I pray the words I offer here reflect who and what God invites us to be.