I lived in the heart and imagination of parent, pastor, and professor, Rev. Dr. Latricia Edwards Scriven, for many years. There I existed, waiting to be introduced to the world! She talked about me all the time - to friends, family members, students, and herself.
For years, she longed to move me from her mind and into a tangible medium, accessible to all, that others might experience this joy. In October 2019, Pastor Latricia's campus ministry students from IMPACT@FAMU Wesley Foundation presented her with what has become one of her GREATEST surprises EVER - an original painting of ME, Laughing Black Jesus!
They'd heard her talk about me and the possibility of having me painted so long that they did something about it! She so embodied my message of laughter and joy that they wanted to see me for themselves.
Brought to life by then FAMU student Devonte King, I was painted on paper and I now hang framed in Rev. Dr. Latricia's church office as a source of INSPIRATION, ENCOURAGEMENT, and POWER! Since then, she's had my portrait reproduced on canvas so that the world may get to know me!
From our Christian children's books, women's empowerment literature, and artwork, all of our creations honor a full range of emotions while exemplifying laughter and cheer, because "the JOY of the Lord is our strength."
So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
“Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them.
The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming.
Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths; their words cut like swords. “After all, who can hear us?” they sneer. But LORD, you laugh at them. You scoff at all the hostile nations.
Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues.
A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but with a heartache comes depression.
For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. with joyful songs. Then the nations said, “The LORD has done spectacular things for them.” The LORD has done spectacular things for us. We are overjoyed.
The sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.” For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the LORD.
Rev. Dr. Latricia Edwards Scriven