Lisa Harper’s book, The Sacrament of Happy, What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World, is a fast but truly valuable read.
What I love about this book: It’s not a textbook on how to be happy, it’s not a make-you-feel-guilty if you’re not happy book, and it’s not a super spiritual do this and you’ll be happy book. It’s practical, it’s amusing, it’s real. Sometimes life circumstances make us unhappy but happy isn’t about life circumstances. It’s about perspective.
I’m currently suffering through a few weeks of recovering from an injury that has me on crutches and – worst nightmare of all, unable to drive. This was the perfect book for me to review at this point in time.
Lisa opens with a chapter called Is Happy Even Holy? And – you’ll be happy to know it is. She points out that happy is “a covenant state of being for God’s people.” And then goes on to ask Is God Happy?
This was my favorite chapter because I’d never grasped before that a perfect God would have to be happy. And how that is proven in scripture when it says He takes great delight in us. A delighted God is a happy God.
Further on Lisa explains how we get happy, how we stay happy even in sad times, and how we regain happy when we’ve lost it. Some of her illustrations are eye opening, I never thought of that kinds of revelation. For instance, in her use of the Good Samaritan story in chapter four she points out that the priest, the very one who passed the injured Samaritan by, had probably been burning incense and offering sacrifices all week in pursuit of God’s guidance and favor. Clearly God tells us how to be happy but so many times, like the priest, we walk right by the opportunity.
I loved her “momma, I lub your breasts” story and the reminder that God laughs (Ps 2:4a). I loved her emphasis on the outward expression of happy through dancing and arm waving.
Lisa ends this book with some great thoughts on cultivating happy by taking our thoughts captive and remembering it’s the pouring out of ourselves that bring the best return and builds the happiness that withstands the hard blows of life.
I highly recommend this book regardless of where you are on the happiness scale at the moment. If you are up, you’ll need the information contained between its pages to help you when you’re down. And if you’re down, you will be inspired out of your dark place into a place of light where you can learn to laugh again.
I was provided a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.