I recently discovered a new doughnut spot in my beloved city. A few months ago, a co-worker told me that I needed to check out this “new” doughnut shop called Sublime Donuts. (It's been around since 2009) For whatever reasons, I ignored her suggestion and did not go to check the place out, even though it was right around the corner from my job, and my Google search about the business indicated that I would enjoy the donut selection without breaking my wallet. But, I resisted and did not go.
And then one day, a different friend, one of my foodie friends mentioned Sublime Donuts to me again. And he SWORE that they were the best doughnuts ever and that I HAD TO HAD TO try them. And then another foodie friend mentioned that she’d been there and agreed that they were the best doughnuts ever and I should check them out. So, I made plans to go on a Sunday with my mom and two other friends, but because my friends had talked up the doughnuts so much, I made a special “preview trip” to the shop to see for myself what all the hype was about – because, did I happen to mention that the two foodie friends who recommended the place to me are two of the pickiest, nothing ever satisfies them, kind of foodie people? (Ok, maybe that is not EXACTLY true, but they have very high standards when it comes to food). Back to my “preview”: I don’t remember EXACTLY what I wrote on Facebook, but my report was GLOWING!!! The doughnuts are pretty spectacular. The picture I have attached includes a picture of the strawberries and crème donut (which is my favorite), which is this light, flaky powdered sugar coated pastry, stuffed with FRESH strawberries and some vanilla pudding type crème filling that just melts in your mouth. (That’s the donut right up front on the left) Seriously, you really don’t have to chew (well, except for the strawberries), just let it dissolve on your tongue. Then there’s the white chocolate peach fritter and the Dream Star (think: Creamsicle ice cream bars from your childhood) and the Reese’s peanut butter cup donut (not my favorite, but my pastor (who I bought one for) LOVED it) and then there's the red velvet and the sweet potato and the … well, you get my point.
Add the fact that the store is owned and operated by a young man who looks a lot like me, with melanin in his skin and a passion for good food in his heart, and I was (and am) all about promoting his business. So, I took to social media (i.e., Facebook) and for a week, almost every day, talked about Sublime Donuts and how much I loved that place. I bought donuts in bulk to share with my mom and my brother and my pastor and … and my friends who introduced me to the place did the same. As a result, several others of our friends drove down to the shop to experience for themselves what we kept talking about on Facebook. One friend and her family went so far as to buy 6 donuts and do a taste testing to see which donuts they liked the best, and then how they liked Sublime Donuts in comparison to another favorite donut shop in the area, Revolution Donuts. And all of this during the course of less than a month in time.
This past week, I went to Sublime and purchased two strawberry and crème donuts. I ate one immediately, but saved the other one – initially with the thought of sharing it with my mom, but she didn’t want it, so it fell to me to eat it. I decided to save it for breakfast on Sabbath morning, but ended up running late to church, so I just grabbed the bag and took it with me to church. As I was standing outside about to eat it, my friend who initially told me about Sublime came up to me and we began discussing our love for all things Sublime. As we were talking, another friend (I have a lot of friends, don’t I?) overheard us and asked what was this place we were talking about. Since I had not yet begun to eat my doughnut, I broke him off a piece (making sure he got a strawberry) to try. He ate it, looked at me and said, “I’m pretty picky, but that’s pretty good.” (Uh, yeah…)
Later, after church, another group of friends was standing around talking and Sublime came up in conversation again. (The donuts really are THAT good!). One of the young ladies in the group remarked, “You know, I didn’t go to Sublime at all this week, but I still talked about it to my friends, in real life and on Facebook – and I thought, “you know, I wonder if I talk about the love of Jesus and what He has done for me like I talk about these donuts.” WOW! It was an eye-opening thought, but it was also confirmation of a thought I’d had earlier in the day when I shared my donut with my friend. See, when I shared it, the friend who was standing there with me was flabbergasted that I would share my delicious donut with someone who might or might not appreciate the goodness I was about to give him. And I said to him, kinda flippantly, “but isn’t that what we are supposed to do? When we discover something great and good, aren’t we supposed to share it with others?”
I had a pastor once who used to always say that spreading the gospel message is all about one beggar showing another beggar where to find food. If I can promote a doughnut place with vigor and enthusiasm – and not get paid anything in return for my word-of-mouth endorsement, surely I should be able to (and want to) share the love of God with the same (if not more) vigor and enthusiasm. After all, He died on a cross for me, He sustains me every day, and He loves me in spite of all my shortcomings and flaws. And if that is not enough to “promote” His goodness, I don’t know what is.