Two words that have shaken thousands of lives upside down.
What if this ordinary world holds the greatest secrets, surprises, and mysteries?
And if it does – what would unlock them?
Love. That simple, that complicated.
I recently read Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff. When it first came out I wanted so badly to get my hands on it, but I knew I would never find the time to read it during school.
Scratch that. It would either sit on my desk untouched, frustrating me every night as I responsibly chose to do homework instead, or I would ignore my responsibilities and read it straight through.
Both options seemed equally wonderful and like the wrong choice all at once, so I decided I would simply wait until a break from school came. In the mean time, I followed Bob on Twitter, as well as the Love Does Twitter handle.
Pause. Let me insert this quick fact: the tweets made me love the book before I read a single page.
If you don’t want to read the book by now, then quite frankly I don’t know what to tell you.
Love Does is more of a collection of short stories than it is a book, but each short story has its own message. At the beginning of every short story, Bob writes a short sentence as an intro. Many times that intro stayed with me and impacted me more than the actual story.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.”
To be honest, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect with Love Does. It was different than I thought it would be, but with each story a different piece of the puzzle is laid down and at the end of it all there is this truth: God uses every-day, ordinary people living their every-day, ordinary lives to completely uproot the idea that life is not whimsical and lessons aren’t hiding around every corner.
This book reminded me that love does not just sit quiet on the sidelines. Love moves. Love gives. Love does. More than anything, I want to be remembered for loving much and loving well solely because of who Christ is and what He has done in me. When I leave a conversation, I want to leave an after-taste of love.
“I want to leak from having been hit by Jesus. From having something crazy happen to me, something that flipped my life upside down. I’ve met people like that, people who leak Jesus. Whenever you’re around them, Jesus keeps coming up with words and with actions. I don’t suppose everybody gets hit by Jesus, but those of us who have talk about Him differently.“[Emphasis mine]
Sometimes we leak love and sometimes we get hurt in the process and it can feel easier to hang up the real and put on the fake everything-is-okay. And maybe that’s okay, but it’s not the best because it’s not the real.
“He asks us to hang that version of ourselves for everyone to see. Despite our inherent beauty, each of us is tempted to hide the original so we won’t get damaged. I understand why, I really do. And the fake version of us, it’s not worthless. It’s just worth less because it’s only a copy of the real us, a version we don’t care about as much.”
It’s a choice, a question hung in the air with every new day: What will you leak? Jesus – or yourself? When we’re leaking Jesus, we don’t have to worry about which version of ourselves we are, the real or the masked, because it’s Jesus that will shine.
We can put the copy to the side. When love does, Jesus shines.
I have found that when I pile too many things on my plate, the result is all me. And that is all bad. If I’m not filling up with Him then I’m just pouring out me. I may keep the plate balanced and the to-do list checked off, but when I’m what is poured out then it is not the best.
I want to spend more time with Jesus than balancing the spinning plates. I want to focus less on a career after college and more on living a life of worship.
“Rather than having us apply for a position, He says our lives are the position. And He says to ordinary people like me and you that instead of closing our eyes and bowing our heads, sometimes God wants us to keep our eyes open for people in need, do something about it, and bow our whole lives to Him instead.”
What changes the world? Love does.