I have been dreading writing this book review, for reasons you don’t likely suspect. The truth: I know that I can’t fully do it justice. I am not equipped with words to describe how lovely and inspirational it is. I’m sitting here with my mouth hanging open like “uhhhh, what do I say?”
FYI: I will call him “Bob” because I just know he isn’t the type to want a title. “Mr. Goff” seems too formal, and “Attorney Bob Goff” seems ill-fitting for a lawyer whose office is on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland.
Bob’s words in Love Does are so rich, I am scared of watering them down with my little book review on my measly blog which engages a fairly small audience. But I know I shouldn’t think that way, because Bob himself wouldn’t want me to. Because I love each of you and want to share my discoveries of things that are good, I simply must share this book with you. As Bob says,
“love is a do thing. It’s an energy that has to be dissipated.”
That pretty well defines his book in my opinion. He dissipates love by sharing bits of how he has discovered love’s power through connecting with people. Every chapter has at least one “WOW!” moment, where an ordinary person like me feels slightly inadequate compared to the incredible things he has experienced. But Bob doesn’t share his experiences to make us feel inadequate; he does it to inspire us to live a life not confined to a box of “normal”. And he makes it clear that most of his experiences did not bloom out of perfect decisions or wealth, but because of his commitment to love in ways not dictated by common world views or religion.
Speaking of religion, Bob’s words on the subject are refreshing. He highlights Jesus’ own words about how “He told them that the religious people weren’t the ones who decided who got into heaven and who didn’t….We’re the ones who simply show people their seats that someone else paid for.” He reminds us that is the broken, the small, who God uses in incredible ways. He tells us that Jesus’ own disciples “never said they were on a missions trip….they knew love already had a name and they didn’t need a program or anything else to define it.” God invites us to love, and it doesn’t look the same for every person.
Bob encourages us to focus on Jesus’ way of loving. After many of his miracles, Jesus would say, “Tell no one.” Bob says,
“In a world driven by self-promotion and spin, Jesus modeled something different for us….instead of telling people about what we’re doing all the time, there’s a better way….Maybe Jesus wants us to be secretly incredible instead….Secretly incredible people keep what they do one of God’s best-kept secrets because the only one who needs to know, the God of the universe, already knows. Being secretly incredible goes against the trend that says to do anything incredible you have to buy furniture and a laptop, start an organization, have a mission statement, and labor endlessly over a statement of faith. Secretly incredible people just do things….Most times, mission statements are just a catchy sentence or two about how nobel the task is, and maybe by implication, how noble we are. The truth is, the task would probably be even nobler if we didn’t talk about it and just did it instead.”
Isn’t that like Jesus to tell us to do things differently than how the world does them?
Bob does many incredible things, and I get the sense that he doesn’t share some of the most incredible. He knows that each small seed has the potential to grow into another part of God’s amazing kingdom. He didn’t know that a few conversations with one of his college students would lead to the development of an amazing ministry in Uganda. He probably didn’t know that other relationships would land him in jails and brothels full of young children and that he would play a part of freeing them from lives of solitary confinement or trafficking. But because of his commitment to share love and encourage the pursuit of big dreams, he has witnessed feats no one thought possible.
Reader, this book will encourage and inspire in a fun and adventurous ways.
Bob, if you’re reading this, I want you to know three things:
I am now very conscious about how often I use the word “that”.
I haven’t quite figured out how to use the word “whimsy”, but I will soon.
I rear-ended a lady a few days ago when I looked down to grab food for the homeless guy on the side of the road. I thought about the lady who wrecked your jeep and how you got annoyed with her repetitive apologies. Instead of sending my new friend a note of apology, I have decided to send her a copy of your book instead.
Readers, as I did with the last book I thoroughly enjoyed, I will give away two copies of this one. Please comment below that you would like to be entered in the drawing, and I will let you know soon if you win. I also encourage you to share this post for others who may be looking for a meaningful book.
Read more at www.bobgoff.com and www.lovedoes.org.
Linking up today at Literacy Musing Mondays.