Chonda Pierce’s personal testimony of enduring abuse, depression and the death of two sisters is anything but funny. Yet the Christian comedian has used it—and lots of genuinely hilarious material—to heal hearts through laughter for more than 20 years. She was recently named the top certified female comedian by the Recording Industry Association of America for having sold more comedy DVDs than any other comedian—secular or Christian. Charisma talked with Pierce about how she turned her pain into praise.
Charisma: Why did you decide to become a comedian?
Pierce: Sometimes I feel like comedy found me. But I also believe that it’s the way the Lord works sometimes.
I got a job at a theme park in Nashville called Opryland USA. I was simply trying to pay my college bill. They gave me the part of impersonating Minnie Pearl. I fell in love with her and that character. I fell in love with the sound of people laughing. It’s almost cliché now that we say laughter does good like a medicine, but for me it became medicine.
Charisma: What was happening in your life that made it such a means of healing?
Pierce: In about a two-year period, everything I knew, in terms of security, comfort and my foundation, had changed for me. My father was not a good person. He was not a consistent Christian man. He was very difficult to live with and difficult to be around as a child. That was my childhood.
Within a two-year period, my big sister was killed in a car accident—she was 20—and about 19 months later, my little sister died of leukemia. She lived only 21 days after being diagnosed. Everything was such a whirlwind. My mother and I had to move out … and find a new life. My father had eventually left the family.
They used to make a joke, “Well, you’ll find out how saved you are when you share a bedroom with your mother.” My mother prayed for me out loud every day—and I’m in the bed with her. Out of that great dysfunction came some really great material.
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SOURCE: Charisma News