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Accidental Atheist

July 19, 2018

Well stated, Jake!

Jake Owensby

Wearing my bishop’s purple clerical shirt, collar, and pectoral cross, I was ordering lunch at an Austin restaurant with my friend Sharon. The Episcopal Church’s triennial General Convention was underway in the Convention Center across the street. Since no tables were available, we sat at the bar.

When our twenty-something server asked for our drink order, I asked for sweet tea. Tongue in cheek, I added, “I’m not sure Jesus will love you if you don’t have sweet tea.”

Without missing a beat, she smiled warmly and said, “Well, I’m an atheist, so that really doesn’t matter to me. But we do have sweet tea.”

I immediately liked this woman. More for her response than for the sweet tea. And she seemed to enjoy the brief exchanges with Sharon and me each time she stopped by to check in with us.

If time had allowed for a serious conversation, I…

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