Bob Goff is who I want to be when I grow up. Not really, not all of it. I do not want to be a lawyer (although I do love a great argument, as a social worker, I am clearly in the career I was destined for already.) When I read Love Does for the first time I already knew it was true. There is a big difference between the two. The few times I have heard him speak and when I hear stories from friends who know him personally, I am always reminded that this man is a wonderfully fun, silly and wise sage. As Bob says in his book “They don’t want to practice law, they want to do justice.” I will stick with Justice for sure.
Bob spreads love like confetti and grace like candy flung to kayakers. However not all people are as easy to love as friendly kayakers passing by. Some people are creepy, and Jesus tells us to love them too. Here lies the problem. Bob's stories make me laugh, cry and most importantly hug my people a little more. Loving difficult people isn’t easy for me. I can love difficult children without missing a beat—but the difficult adults in my life sometimes leave me biting my tongue until it feels like it will bleed.
For Sure Yes: The stories of limo drivers, Carol, homeless guys, skeeball victories, children who are heroes, Disneyland offices. Witch doctors baptizing people with bottled water in prison. Being all in while loving everybody always. Bob Says,“Don’t put a toe in the water with your love; grab your knees and do a cannonball.” CHARLIE. SO MUCH CHARLIE. I want to read HIS book someday. Starting a school for witch doctors because they are isolated and need community and giving them Bibles and Bob’s books for text books. I can get on board with that. One of my fave bits of wisdom here: “This difference between a prudent pause and a persistent paralysis is a distinction worth knowing.”
For sure no: Loving the hard people. I want to be able to. Maybe most days I want to want to be able. But Bob even redeems that by letting us know it’s hard for him too- and he wrote the book about it. That and Crock Drops. I just can’t with all that jazz.
What will I do differently after reading this book: Loving difficult people for the next 30 seconds seems like it will make it a whole lot more likely to happen. In the hardest moments of recovery we tell people not to worry about 24 hours at a time, more like 30 seconds or a minute at a time. Bob uses this simple strategy to help us learn how to be loving with difficult people. I will without a doubt be muddling my way through 30 second periods.
“There is no love without Justice, but there is no justice without love. I don’t think we have any business telling people what to change in their lives unless we’re willing to change a couple of things in ours,” writes Bob. I think I will spend the next few days processing this and making a list of some of the things I most need to change in this life of mine.
“Sometimes when we ask God for an answer, He sends us a friend.” Definitely going to start looking at answered prayers a bit differently because I have some pretty wonderful friends to be sure.
That's all for now. Buy the book. It will be the best $10 you've spent all year.