Imagine hearing your physician tell you that chips and queso contain more nutritional benefits than kale and quinoa.
In her new book, The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World, Lisa Harper unveils a similarly extravagant, unexpected surprise, declaring that happiness is a gift from God that we can unashamedly enjoy.
Wearing the twin hats of both seminarian and belly-laughing adoptive mom, Harper builds upon solid theological scaffolding for happiness in a warm, vignette style. She dismantles the old-school idea that joy, not happiness, is the truly spiritual emotion of the Christian family and asserts that Christ-followers are actually called to happiness . . . to such a deep conviction in the unmitigated goodness of our Creator-Redeemer that we are free to feel and express genuine joy, fulfillment and contentment, regardless of personal and global tumult.
Harper’s personal story includes such happiness killers as sexual abuse, the death of loved ones, and heartbreaking failed adoptions. Yet she writes on themes like:
- “The lost sacrament of laughter”
- “Happiness is not the absence of sadness”
- “Tuning out the Pharisees who try to mute your happiness in the context of spiritual maturity”
This book goes well beneath most people’s surface understanding of happiness, gently guiding readers closer to the heart of God . . . with naturally a few genuine guffaws to enjoy along the way.