I believe there are two kinds of miracles. The first kind is when something happens to you, personally, that feels so perfectly suited to your needs that logic appears to dictate that it cannot be coincidence: prayers healing the sick; food appearing when you are starving; a stranger providing you with the only thing that could save you. The second is the miracle you hear about, which defies all logical explanation. Except that really this second type is just the first type grown beyond recognition by people’s insatiable desire for there to be something out there in the universe that loves us like their own child. The story of the first kind of miracle gets rebuilt by this longing into the second, incontrovertibly supernatural kind by the incremental process of responding to sceptics with increasingly convincing alterations to the original story until it stands perfected as unassailable proof of the thing people want so desperately to be true, that the universe loves us, so we don’t have to be afraid.

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