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It is with much thanks that I send this message to you. As countless others have already probably said "The picture is a blessing" - and after reading the testimonies on your homepage, I would like to add my rather humble story.
I have been suffering from a depression that simply WILL NOT LIFT, and have been seeing a therapist at our local pastoral counseling center for 8 months. I've been through the routine of medication, hospitalization and therapy until I want to cry out "God, where ARE you?", but knowing that we don't see the "big picture" has kept me from loosing heart too much. I know that the Lord gives me the strength I need to simply get out of bed each day and put one foot in front of the other. If I do MY part, HE will take care of the rest and someday I know that I too, will have that huge belly laughing grin on my face. Imagine my surprise yesterday, then, when after 8 months of weekly therapy sessions, I turned to leave the room and saw your picture of "Jesus Laughing" staring back at me off Rusty's wall!!! There has been little room for joy in my life lately, and since I work in a church, I have tried to find solace in the paintings they have hanging up here. Although this is a church where they tend to use a lot of the icons of Jesus and saints, they are all very dark and dismal looking. I have told our Youth Minister many times "Just give me a smiling Jesus".
When I got back from therapy yesterday, I tried the number that had been on the back of the Laughing Jesus picture in Rusty's office only to find the number was disconnected. In a flash, I was on the computer and through the "Ask Jeeves" search, I was hooked up with your website in seconds. And there was Jesus - Laughing and smiling back at me. Suddenly, there DOES seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I don't need to see the whole picture that the Lord sees, maybe I just need to trust that He sees it and when His will is done in my life, I'll see Him smiling at me and saying "See? I TOLD you I knew the plans....."
So for now, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and waiting for the laughter to return. And while I am waiting, my Jesus Laughing picture will be staring back at me from the wall of my office, reminding me that when the darkness is lifted, the belly laughs will also return.
Thank you for reminding me that where there is life, there is hope.