Love Does: I’m With You.

10 07 2012

One of the things I love about summer is the little extra time it gives me to read. There is nothing I love more than the right chair in the right spot with the right book.  My first book just happened to be “Love Does” by Bob Goff because I was asked to write a review on it (I’ll post a link when it is published). I ended up LOVING the book for so many reasons.

For you my faithful readers (I am actually not sure if I have faithful readers; I just felt like saying that), I thought I would reflect a little on what grabbed me and you can listen in. I do try to pass on key learnings for those who don’t have the time or patience to read actual books…but seriously, read the actual book, it is worth it.

Love Does/Chapter 1/”I’m With You”

“Love Does” makes its point through stories. I do love a good story, and Goff is a great storyteller. Even better, the stories are from his own life, which makes them funnier/sweeter/more moving and more compelling. I am going to refer to a few of these, but you will have to read the book if you want the full experience.

Having said that, in this first chapter he tells a story of a guy named Randy who was a youth leader in Goff’s life when he was a teenager. Goff wasn’t a Christian at the time, but he admired Randy a lot. Goff tells a story where he, as a teen, did something impulsive, something most adults would have tried to talk him out of. It involved him dropping out of highschool and moving to a park in California to hike and climb and possibly find a job to support his hiking and climbing.

Most adults would have tried to talk Goff out of his completely un-thought-through plan, but Randy sensed that Goff needed a friend, not a lecture. Goff showed up at Randy’s door to say goodbye, but Randy surprised him and asked if he could come. I won’t give away the rest of the story; the point is, Randy chose to “be with” Goff. He knew the plan was crazy, irresponsible, and would probably fail; and in all of that, he knew Goff would just need a friend.

I thought a lot about Randy; about a guy who didn’t try to “fix” the situation and chose to be with this teenager instead. Then I thought about people I meet with whose plans and ideas make me uncomfortable; there are times people talk about doing things or believing in things that are cringe-worthy and I wrestle with what Jesus is asking me to say or do in that situation.

There is a time I need to say something; I won’t discount that. The Bible talks about appropriate correction, exhortation, and guidance. Just to keep your mouth shut, is sometimes cowardly. But a lot of times, I think people just need to not be alone.

I have a friend who does a superb job of this and I always admire his “neutrality.” He has a firm grasp about right and wrong, but somehow can just be with people in a way that always makes them feel accepted. He knows how to be that kind of a friend; to do friendly things because he is a “be with” kind of person. My son Josh has that wiring as well. I know Jesus was like this and I wish it were that easy for me too but I am pretty sure if it had been me standing at the door with Goff telling me his plans to drop out, I would have looked horrified and would have said something like, “I think you are going to regret this.”

I am a fixer but Jesus hasn’t really asked me to fix anything. He has asked me to be in proximity, to be in the lives of people so He can fix things. He has asked me to be led by His Spirit, and at times that may involve going on some ridiculous trip with an illogical teenager on a mission doomed to failure just so that I can “be with” them at the time.

At the end of the chapter, Goff writes, “What I learned from Randy about the brand of love Jesus offers is that it’s more about presence than undertaking a project. It’s a brand of love that doesn’t just think about good things, or agree with them, or talk about them. What I learned from Randy reinforced the simple truth that continues to weave itself into the tapestry of every great story: Love Does” (9).

— Teresa Klassen

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2 responses

11 07 2012
Chantelle Funk

Midly faithful and highly addicted to your blog. 🙂

11 07 2012
teresaklassen

haha 🙂

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