It was a simple greeting and a simple question. But a very strange reaction…
Peet’s coffee is better than Starbuck’s, but since there isn’t one on every corner I patronize the place rarely.
“Happy Good Friday!” I said cheerfully to the server at the counter.
“Happy, uh, Good… Friday,” she replied haltingly.
“Do you know the meaning of Good Friday?” I asked.
“No, not really.”
“It’s the day that Jesus was crucified for our sins and died. Why do you think it was good?”
“I…uh… don’t know…”
I hadn’t given my order yet and there were no other customers in line, so I took advantage of the vacuum—by giving my 17 second sermon: “Well, if you’ve ever broken any of God’s 10 Commandments—if you’ve ever lied or stolen–then He will see you as a lying thief; and if you’re found guilty of one sin, then the penalty is eternity in Hell.”
Her eyes were fixed on mine. I had her. She looked like she might be receptive to the Gospel, maybe even ready to bow the knee to her Creator right there next to the Sulawesi Dark blend. “But Jesus died on a cross for all of us—and that is good. If you repent and turn your life over to God by believing in Jesus—“
Her head twitched. Her eyes became a flame of fire. Then she shook her head violently… and ran away; she stopped only to talk to a co-worker, and then bolted into a backroom, never to be seen again.
Her co-worker then stepped up to take my order.
“Is she alright?” I asked concerned. “I don’t think she liked what I had to say.”
“She’ll be okay,” the co-worker assured.
I thought about this for a few seconds. I looked at the menu board, buying some time, wondering what I should say to this new server. I knew what I had to say:
“Happy Good Friday!”