How Chewbacca Showed Us All Something About Joy


Late last week my sister showed me a video of a woman who seemed way too excited about a child’s toy she had purchased at a department store.

According to The New York Times article on the video:

It was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in joy.

The cause was a Facebook video capturing a Texas woman’s enthusiastic, infectious laughter as she tried on a Chewbacca mask in her car.

The video, originally broadcast live on Friday, propelled the woman, Candace Payne, into sudden social media fame

By Monday morning, 136 million people, including me, had viewed the video of the mirthful Wookiee — which ended with Candace’s memorable words, “Y’all have an incredible day. It’s the simple joys.”

I’ve since learned that Candace is a strong Christian who serves on the worship team at her church. In a speech to Christian teens at the Regional Fine Arts 2016 event, Candace shared that the reason behind her hysterical laughter was that when she looked in the camera she saw the happiest Chewbacca she’d ever seen staring back at her, and thought, Han Solo died. But Chewbacca got his joy back!

This got me thinking about how we can all use a little more joy in our lives. I think 136 million people going nuts over a woman’s belly-laugh and a Star Wars mask is evidence of that. As Christians, we know that a “joyful heart is good medicine,” but what does the world see when it looks at us?

I feel like many times, Christians (me included), view our “joy” as kind of a consolation prize in the midst of suffering. “If I can’t be happy, at least the Bible says I can have joy.” But I think the joy God offers us is more than that. Joy is defined as “a feeling of great pleasure or happiness.”

Yes, that.

Joy goes beyond our circumstances (even painful ones), certainly. But it is not inferior to happiness. It is a supernatural infusion of pleasure that comes from the Lord. And that kind of joy — the kind Candace Payne demonstrated via Chewbacca — is what a hurting world is looking for.

If you’ve been plodding along in a state of gloom — whatever the reason — maybe it’s time you got your joy back.

About the Author

Suzanne Gosselin
Suzanne Hadley Gosselin

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin is a freelance writer and editor. She graduated from Multnomah University with a degree in journalism and biblical theology. She lives in California with her husband, Kevin, who is a family pastor, and her four young children: Josiah, Sadie, Amelia and Jackson. When she’s not hanging out with her kids, Suzanne loves a good cup of coffee, conversation with friends, musical theater and a trip to the beautiful California coast.

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