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  • I went to visit my family in Mississippi for a few days at the end of June, the first time I'd been in summer in close to 10 years. There was a fish fry. When my dad nonchalantly trotted out a propane-fueled outdoor deep fryer that made a sound like a jet engine, I thought I might fall over and die. The stereotypes realized, what my friends back in Boston would think, the sheer Willy Wonka-ness of the machine...

    As I was getting ready to leave, my dad said to me, "Andy, we are so proud of you, all that you've accomplished, all that you're doing right now. But I just want to say this one thing... Let me just meddle, just a little bit: find yourself a place to worship."

    My family are devoted, lifelong Southern Baptists. They know I am not. And he knows this is usually the kind of thing that offends me.

    But maybe he's right. My sister pointed out that he'd made the jump from his past "find yourself a church" to "find yourself a place to worship."

    I see grace in everyday things and occurrences--beautiful things, ridiculous things, things as unlikely as a conversation and a couple of beers with loved ones over a freestanding Willy Wonka backyard deep fryer. I could stand to stop and acknowledge those things with more intent. I think I will try.
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