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Laugh Your Way to Grace:
Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor
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Laugh Your Way to Grace is a welcome addition to my collection.
–FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER
A provocative case for adding leavening levity to sacred spaces where it might be sorely lacking.
An ex-lawyer turned standup comedian and minister presents a deliciously rebellious pitch for the power of humor in the spiritual search.
“Laughter is the GPS system for the soul,” poses Rev. Susan Sparks as she diagnoses our current condition of “spiritual geliophobia” – the fear of laughter in the presence of God. We have forgotten the playful, joyful aspect of the Holy One. “For those who think God doesn’t laugh, think platypus and blowfish,” is her reminder to all who live life just a bit too seriously.
This is a substantive, yet personal and funny look at the power of humor. With completing stories from her life, Rev. Sparks tracks the various ways humor as been revered in ancient cultures and world religious traditions, explores why humor is rarely included in our images of God, highlights the ways that humor allows us to transcend our isolation and our barriers, and reveals the ways in which humor can be the “ark” that carries us when tragedy hits. The result is a powerful, humorous case for laughter as a spiritual healing path.
Laughter, like music, is a universal language. And Susan Sparks speaks this language like no other. Laugh Your Way to Grace weaves humor and the sacred into one beautiful work of art. If you want to blast some fresh air into your spiritual life, then by all means read this book!
Humor and theology — together? Absolutely! And Laugh Your Way to Grace is the blueprint for the relationship. This pioneering book taps ancient wisdom about laughter which we all innately have, but often forget. Susan Sparks reconnects us with this power by reminding us, page by page, that we can chuckle and grin our way toward life abundant.
Rev. Susan Sparks has written the definitive book about how humor and laughter have everything to do with God….Laugh Your Way to Grace has done more for me than most of the theology books I’ve been forced to plough through. I’m still smiling…and contemplating.
I read Laugh Your Way to Grace on a day when the weight of the world felt especially heavy on my shoulders. By the time I finished reading and laughing, the burden was lifted, proving Susan Sparks’ point: laughter is a spiritual practice that empowers the human heart to fly.
You could buy this book just for the chapter titles or the great quotes that begin each section — but you would miss the chance to laugh your way to grace. Susan Sparks takes us on a journey from Mother Teresa’s orphanage to a cross-country ride on a Harley with unforgettable stops in between…This is not a book filled with jokes, but with the surprising humor that comes from paying close attention to life….When you come to the end of this book you’ll want to pass it on to someone who has never imagined laughing on the spiritual path. They will surely thank you.
I laughed. I got chills. Each page a gem. But most importantly Laugh Your way to Grace reminded me that every moment of laughter even in some of the most painful times of life is an act of the holy, an act of God. Knowing this truth, our lives may become a little sweeter, a little lighter and a lot more fun.
In a cynical post-modern world Susan Sparks recovers the healing art of humor and theological reflection wrapped in story. Rare is it to find one with a deep commitment to the love, justice and the beauty of laughter…this publication will be a blessing to all who journey with this high priestess of humor and holy reflection.
God obviously has a sense of humor, but somehow in the process of trying to live our lives as faithful people we’ve managed to smother a lot of God-sparked joy. So thank God for Susan Sparks! By immersing ourselves in her honest insights, her warm encouragement, and her hysterical stories, we’re able to shatter the crust around our hearts that has kept us from fully experiencing the grace of life as God intended.