Sunday, September 16, 2012

Laugh your way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor

One of my favorite gifts from God is laughter, so naturally I would be interested in a book called Laugh your way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor.  The author Reverend Susan Sparks is advertised as “America’s only female stand-up comedian with a pulpit.”  This ex-lawyer turned comedian and minister takes a serious look at the significance of humor in life and, more specifically, in the spiritual journey. 
I firmly believe that God has a sense of humor and that life is much better if we have one as well.  Susan Sparks helps us identify places in which we may have become so solemn and fearful that we are unable to see the irony, the silliness, the joy, and therefore, the grace, in those places.  When we are open to something that is fresh, new, out-of-the-ordinary, we can find laughter in new spaces where fear, worry, and/or an overarching heaviness had formerly settled in. 
Reading Laughing your way to Grace helped remind me of the many times in my life when laughter has lowered my defenses, been a catalyst to see things in a new way, and has gotten me to take myself and others less seriously. 
I thought of a number of authors, bloggers, TV shows, movies, preachers, Youtube videos, and people who have linked faith, religion, and humor together in a ways that are quite refreshing.  Anne Lamott, Barbara Johnson, and Erma Bombeck are just of a few of the women who come to mind whose books have gotten me laughing out loud.  I would be hard-pressed to forget Bill Cosby’s bit about God telling Noah to build the ark. 
My husband and I love to laugh and wouldn’t have become such close friends or made it through so much as a married couple without some much-needed silliness.  One way Kevin’s been open to learning and has remembered more stories from the Bible has been through our incorporation of Veggie Tales into our entertainment and faith education.  Veggie Tales are a great source for faith-based laughter for kids and adults alike.  Anyone who can take the stories of King David and Bethsheba, Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale…and turn them into hilarious child-friendly lessons in loyalty and morals has got to have a sense of humor.
In short, if your walk with the Lord has always been solemn and serious, then you’re missing one of God’s greatest gifts!  Learn how and why it’s okay and actually highly recommended that you Laugh your way to Grace.
For more information, or to order your own copy, click here.  I received a free copy of this book from Skylight Paths Publishing in exchange for this review.     
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