That’s What Love Does
Bob Goff believes that life is an adventure, that every day is full of whimsy, and yes—that we are called not only to talk about love but to act on it.
Bob has lived an incredible life of love and has written a book about it called Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World. The book includes the story of how Bob pursued his wife by putting a peanut butter sandwich on her windshield every day, the time he took his children on a global tour to eat ice cream with heads of state, and the way he got into law school by sitting outside the dean’s office for seven days. After I finished reading Bob’s book, I put it down, ready to change the world.
Bob believes we all could use a little more whimsy—going after what matters, not taking ourselves too seriously, choosing to love people outrageously. Once, Bob loaned his boat to a young man, a complete stranger, who wanted a special way to propose to his fiancé. The young man proposed; the woman said “yes,” and then Bob surprised them both by signaling the Coast Guard to shoot off water canons. Bob loves to create moments like this. When he hatches a plan, it is “a great caper.” I was so inspired by Bob’s book that I decided to hatch a great caper of my own.
Sweet Ms. Alice
In college, I spent a lot of nights studying in the academic building. The university janitors always came in at midnight to begin their shift; and around two in the morning, sweet Ms. Alice would heat up her lunch in the microwave and sit down to talk. One night, she told me that her fiftieth birthday was just around the corner. I wanted to celebrate my friend, so I decided to throw her a birthday party.
Dave was also a night owl who frequented Alice’s building. Together we bought streamers, balloons, a crown, a card, a cupcake, and candles—the works. We figured out Alice’s cleaning route so we would be ready and enlisted another janitor to distract Alice until we’d hung up all the decorations. At two o’clock on her fiftieth birthday, Alice walked into the study room to a surprise birthday party. She couldn’t stop laughing, but she was choked up at the same time. “Y’all are so sweet,” she told us. But all I could say was, “You’re the one who’s sweet, Alice. We love you.”
Love Like Jesus
I think Jesus would have thrown Ms. Alice a surprise birthday party too. Jesus offers the kind of love that washes our feet, walks on water, touches the untouchable, and led him to the cross. Bob Goff says, “That’s what love does—it pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end.” I want that kind of love to spill into and out from my life—a love so real and alive that I’ll burst at the seams if I don’t express it. I know the love of Jesus; and I pray that through my actions, other people will know the love of Jesus too.
Love Does continues to inspire Katy. Bob hosted a “Love Does Stuff” video competition challenging people to show love in action. Since Katy got the whole birthday bash on film, she entered it in the competition. Watch Alice’s surprise unfold. Then dream up a caper of your own.
After graduating from college, Katy felt God calling her to put love into action by spreading the Gospel. She traveled to 11 countries in 11 months on a mission trip called The World Race. Read her stories at www.katysteele.theworldrace.org.
How will you celebrate Jesus’ birthday this week? Find concrete ways to put Christ’s love into action.
—from devozine (November/December 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.