"I remember a time when the incredible miracle of God's immediacy hit me with particular force. My wife and I were on a bus in India, an experience difficult for Westerners to appreciate. Often you have a person or two sitting on your lap. Usually it is hard to breathe, and comfort is not something you even think about. On this particular trip, I was smashed up against the window toward the rear of the bus. I was tired and vaguely ill, and to distract myself from the reality inside the bus, I was gazing intently out the window.

"As we passed through one town, a scene unfolded before my eyes of crowds, animals, small houses crammed together, and more crowds — the usual Indian panorama. What struck me again, for the umpteenth time since our arrival in that country, was the number of people. They were everywhere, masses of people, even in this reasonably 'small' city.

"Just then this thought came to me — a clear beacon shining through the fog in my brain: God knows all these people, really knows them, knows their thoughts and feelings, their desires and histories. It seemed a staggering impossibility. Yet I knew in that moment that it was somehow true."