I’ve raved about this book for a while now, and I finished it this week. Love Does, by Bob Goff (2012, Thomas Nelson), is incredible. It’s filled with stories of how Bob has spent his life loving people – and I mean really loving them.
There are few tales of hearts, flowers, or poetry, but many of him taking off on flights to Uganda to help free imprisoned children. Or of him letting people into his life in whatever way they need. Or of refusing to give up on a dream because he knows it’s what he would love to do.
Even the one chapter on the pursuit of his now-wife is a tale of unrelenting hope, of choosing to keep on loving ‘Sweet Maria’, in spite of her apparent disinterest. He tells the story of being ‘trigger-locked (on her) while she treated me with a polite distance’.
In the end though, he says: ‘Fortunately, Maria understood that for some of us – most of us – the language of love is laced with whimsy. It sometimes borders on the irrational. Like I’ve been saying, though, love is a do thing. It’s an energy that has to be dissipated.’ ((I would say love almost always borders on the irrational, but there you go.)
Bob is a Christian and writes as such, including many references to how he believes his faith impacts on his chosen path. But it’s not a cringe-inducing faith, or even a faith particularly recognisable as being the same as is often seen in ‘the Church’. So please don’t be put off by it!
Why am I telling you about this book? Because as I’ve read it, it kept resonating with me, with who I am trying to be. I, too, believe that ‘love does’ – love is above all else a verb, and the only way to show it is to do something with it.
That can mean being there at 3am for someone when everyone’s had enough. Or it can mean taking the hit when they need to rant at ... someone. Or it can mean ignoring how much something is hurting, because the person needs you to be strong for them.
It can even mean turning up and doing a job we really don’t feel like doing today, because it will benefit someone else in need.
Most of this is pretty contrary to popular opinion. Many people counsel to ‘look after yourself’, to make sure we’re not going to get hurt. And whilst that might seem like wisdom, it isn’t the way of love as I understand it.
Love puts the other person first, regardless of cost. And sometimes the cost is high but, even so, I believe love goes right ahead and does it anyway.
Love Does is available from Amazon here.