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Updated: Aug 24, 2023

The Need for Joy

Picture this - I am walking into a nice office building to start my first day on the job with a firm in a new city. As I entered the lobby of the building, I noticed a tall, well-dressed gentleman walking around greeting everyone that walked into the building. It didn’t matter the person’s age, gender, or race, this gentleman was engaging with them, sharing high fives, knuckle bumps, and plenty of laughs. As the days went by, I started to linger around a little in the lobby just to watch this activity a little closer. I enjoyed watching the smiles that he was able to get out of people. Who knows what kind of morning many of these people may have had, but he was determined to spread some joy into their day.

Being a curious person, I had to learn more about this situation. I have been in a lot of office buildings, and I have never seen a dynamic like this before. I learned that this joy spreader was named Darryl and that he had worked for the building management for over twenty years. I am still not exactly sure what his official job is, but I do know what he does each day is make the workers and guests in this building feel welcome. I also learned that the source of his joy was his relationship with Jesus Christ, and that he had been a gospel musician.

I asked him about how all of this started, and he shared that when he first began working there that he would do just like he does today and greet people enthusiastically -- although few people would respond. We laughed as he described how people would stare at their shoes or pretend not to see him. That did not stop him. He would shout out to them with a big grin on his face and wish them a great day anyway. As he shared with me, “I don’t speak to people to get a reaction from them. I just want to share some joy with people.” Reflecting back on his musical days, he shared a line from a gospel song he used to sing, “This joy that I have the world did not give to me, and it surely can’t take it away.”

Spreading Joy Your Way

While we all have different personalities and there are many challenges and problems in life, there is every reason to rejoice and be joyful regardless of our circumstances. In a strange and confusing world, people of faith have certainty and hope. They know their ultimate destination. They live with one foot in this world and one in the next.

Darryl and I discussed that some days he may not be quite as energetic or feel like greeting everyone with the same level of enthusiasm as normal. However, he knows the real secret, “It’s not about me!” He shares God’s love and joy each day because it is about others.

He takes Jesus’ words on loving God and others seriously. When we take the focus off of ourselves, our “cup” is able to overflow, and we can share love and joy with others. Whether in school or a nursing home or anywhere in between, we can be encouragers and givers of joy in our sphere of influence. Who can you bless today by bringing some joy?

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