By: Deacon Marques Silva
About once to twice a week I go by Dunkin’ Donuts and pick up a cup of coffee before work. I have a few options, but I always choose the one that is in the opposite direction of my office, adding an extra ten minutes to my commute time on purpose.
“Why?” you ask.
The reason is simply that the workers there are full of joy. And it is not just the pasted-on customer “service with a smile” – they truly are joyful. Not only are they joyful but they take an interest in each person that approaches the counter.
In fact, the other day I was asked (after I had made my purchase) if I had a story about myself to share. It caught me by surprise and caused me to want to know why they were so interested in me. And they had an answer, a personal one in fact:
They want to be like the old sitcom Cheers. Remember the tagline? Cheers – where everybody knows your name.
Evangelism should be just like my Dunkin’ Donuts experience. St. Peter knew what he was talking about when he said: “Always be ready to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you…” (I Peter 3:15b).
I think we should learn from the Dunkin’ Donuts staff that I see each week. If joy is not part of our Christian experience, we should ask ourselves those hard questions such as: “Why don’t I experience Christian joy?”; “Do I radiate that hope that lies within?”; or “Do I daily build my friendship with Jesus who is my hope and joy?”His Holiness Benedict XIV, Pope Emeritus said in Spes Salvi (2): “The one who has hope lives differently…” And what expresses hope more than joy.
If we can find answers to these questions and begin to share that joy in our daily encounters, I think people would go out of their way to share their story with us and inquire for an account of the hope that lies within. …Maybe even over a doughnut and a cup of joe.