Love Does

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

Bob Goff:
ISBN 978-1-4002-0375-8, 224 pp.,
Thomas Nelson, 2012

Picture, if you will, a typical lawyer’s office. If you imagine a large corner office in a highrise downtown, you won’t be alone. But that’s not where Bob Goff’s office is: his is on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland.

Picture if you will, an aspiring law student. If you imagine a young man sweating over SATs, and ripping open acceptance envelopes with excitement, you won’t be alone. But that’s not what Bob Goff did: he got into law school by sitting outside the dean’s office and refusing to leave.

Those two small pieces of information tell you about Bob Goff.

He buys plane tickets as casually as other people buy sweaters. He camps in snowstorms, drops in on world leaders, and plays extreme rubber band games with his family. He travels through danger zones in Uganda to fight injustice against children. He pranks his friends, and totes BB guns. He founded Restore International and works through that organization in India and Uganda. He embraces life in a way that is both inspiring and daunting.

Readers might find themselves torn between desire to meet this extraordinary person and abject terror that someday they might meet this extraordinary person. Life with him has to be both exhilarating and exhausting. Donald Miller writes in the foreword: “This book will be troubling for some. We don’t like to put hands and feet on love. When love is a theory, it’s safe, it’s free of risk. But love in the brain changes nothing. Bob believes that love is too beautiful a concept to keep locked up behind a forehead like a prisoner.”

In other words, thinking and talking about love isn’t good enough. Do something.

This book is made up of stories from his life that have a “dusting of divine fingerprints.” Each story begins with a teaser quote to draw the reader in: “I used to be afraid of failing at something that mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” Each story concludes with a wise life observation: “. . . maybe we’re all a little like human origami and the more creases, the better.” And each story encourages us to put hands and feet on our love, even if it is “like a sword without a handle” and cuts us sometimes.

So what to do?

He says: “For most of us, the next step is as easy as picking up the phone, sending an e-mail, writing a letter, buying a plane ticket, or just showing up. After that, things start happening. Things that perhaps have God’s fingerprints on them. You’ll know which ones do and which ones don’t. Pick the ones that do.”

If you do—if you can get past the abject terror—you just might discover a secretly incredible life in this ordinary world.


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on May 2, 2012, in Books provided by publishers, Non-fiction, Thomas Nelson and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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