God Loves Laughter, William Sears

A hilarious autobiography by William Sears, a Baha’i and revered Hand of the Cause of God. He documents his life from childhood to adulthood, and details the journey that brought him to both his wife and the Baha’i Faith.  The story follows the trail of his recurring dream, and it is imbued with humorous anecdotes and real-life events that are nearly too incredible to be true.

In it, you will quickly fall in love not only with William Sears himself, but with his sagacious Grandfather and dazzling wife Marguerite. His is a miraculous journey of becoming; of turning away from tradition, investigating the truth, finding it, and committing to a life of service.

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William Sears (left), his wife Marguerite, and son Michael. Taken on their way to South Africa. http://news.bahai.org/story/270

Rather than attempt to summarize the book, I will leave you with a few of my favourite quotes and recommend you indulge in this decadent literary treat.

“If you find the light, never stumble or let it go, and always remember that you’re not very much without the light. We’re all like balloons, and the spirit that shines in each of us is like the air in the balloon. Unless the balloon is filled with the spirit, it’s a shrivelled and useless thing.” – Grandfather

“‘That’s the way people are, son,’ he explained. ‘When their hearts are turned to the material things of this world they’re dark. There’s no light in their faces. But when they’ve turned more towards God and forget the things of the Earth they become bright and shiny inside. At Christmas-time they’ve turned more towards God and His Messenger so there’s a new spirit in the world, and it’s a nice place to live in for a while.'” – Grandfather

“Grandfather sat in the buggy looking at the burned-out woods and the ruins. He didn’t say anything for a long time. Then he started the horses on their way back to town. ‘This old world burns out faster than a match, son. A fellow named Shakespeare once said that life was like counting to ‘one’.” – William Sears/Grandfather

“Some folks say die. Not me. […] The important part’s gone. It escapes like perfume when you break the bottle.” – Grandfather

“Why is it, Grandfather, that it’s so much fun to talk to you about God? Here I am a young boy and there you are an old man. We both like it, but nobody else seems to want to. ‘Maybe it’s because I am old and you’re young. You’re close to God on one end, and I’m close to Him on the other. In between they don’t care so much.'”

“That’s not praying, that’s begging. You can’t go around with a tin-cup asking the Lord to load it up for you. You’ve got to do something for it.” – Grandfather

“If you still don’t get what I’m driving at, take two half-dollars and put them one over each eye. What can you see? Nothing. That’s what silver does to the inner sight, too, if you become too fond of it.” – Grandfather

“You read too much, I told him. ‘It keeps me from thinking a name is strange just because it’s new to me,’ he said.” – William Sears/Grandfather

“A month passed, and Marguerite still hadn’t called me. Each of us knew the other was waiting for a call. This is what is known in romantic circles as “the cold war”. It is a sinful waste of moonlight and dance music, but it must be waged according to the rules. […] It is an effective technique if deployed wisely, but if carried to extremes, it leads to reading in the Sunday papers about the engagement of your girl to someone else.” – William Sears

“Every woman has a built-in radar that can detect the slightest shadow of interest.” – William Sears