Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: Love Does by Bob Goff

I first heard of Bob Goff in the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, the book that inspired my title for this blog. Donald Miller writes about his friend Bob who sounds generous, inspiring, and more than just a little bit crazy. When Love Does came out, I began to see some buzz about it on social media from friends whose taste in reading material I admire, so I was curious.

The book is part memoir, part little coffee table advice book. Bob--I think he'd want me to call him Bob--writes about his life of faith, his family, his friends, his work. The premise of the book is that love isn't just a feeling, but instead is something that compels us to action. These actions include being present for people in their times of struggle, engaging whimsy in life, making a difference in whatever way we can, not taking yourself too seriously, and choosing, whenever possible, to extend friendship, even if it is impractical or seems ill-advised. And when we're loving well, we're living well, says Bob.

This is a fun book. It's really accessible and shows Christian faith to be pretty straightforward: love God and love others. It has left me thinking about how I can love a little more practically, toward those who are near and dear, and those out in the world. While Bob is the kind of guy who will just hop on a plane to Uganda at a moment's notice (read the book, you'll see), I'm more of a practical sort who likes to have everything planned out real well. And while I'm not likely to be so changed by his stories that I need to get my passport renewed or anything, I do find myself wanting to be more open to opportunities to show love spontaneously.

And I think that's the point of the book--to prompt us to begin asking ourselves what it might look like for us to begin to engage our faith a little more practically and a little more adventurously at the same time.

At the end of the book, I'm realizing that I might not be able to fight child imprisonment in Uganda like Bob, but I can go have lunch with one of my daughter's underprivileged classmates. I might not be able to travel internationally with my kids at the drop of a hat, but that doesn't mean I can't show them a bigger world. I may not be able to make my off-site office Tom Sawyer's Island at Disneyland, but I can go to the coffee shop to work, where I might meet someone to whom I can show kindness and authenticity.

So, if you're looking to be inspired in your faith and inspired to love more, go read Love Does. I think you will be glad you did.

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