Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Meet Bob Goff and Love Does

Bob said he thinks Jesus will touch people on the nose when he meets them face-to-face.

Julie, a writer friend

Julie, Donald, Petie and Bob

In the beginning, a girl named Julie introduced me to Donald Miller via his book Blue Like Jazz. Read and passed on to my son John, he too became a big fan. Then I read the other books by Miller, including my favorite, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. This book too I shared with family and friends, including my friend Petie, who when she returned my copy, told me that Bob Goff, who factored prominently in Donald Miller's book, was someone she and her husband and their 3 sons knew when they lived in San Diego some 25 years ago.

Bob Goff actually met "Sweet Maria" in my friend Petie's living room. Bob fell in love with Maria that night and eventually convinced her to marry him.

When Bob Goff wrote Love Does, my friend Petie bestowed upon me a copy, as giddy when she gave it to me as if she had written the book herself. In turn, I gave away 10's of copies. Is that a good way to put it? Well, far more than 10 yet less than a hundred.


Behind the book is a person

Last week, I met Bob Goff face-to-face. My friend Cynthia offered my husband and me places at the table they had reserved where Bob was the speaker. Cynthia nudged me, "There he is," knowing I had driven 120 miles from Lubbock to Amarillo to meet Bob Goff.
My friend Cynthia took this picture of Bob and me

"I'm Petie's friend."

"I'm a hugger," he said, bending down to engulf me in the kind of hug you hate to let go.

"Ah, Petie and Doc," Bob said. "It all started in their living room," referring to his story of life with wife, Sweet Maria. (See chapter 7)

And suddenly I could see connections, circles inside circles, where people meet, their lives intersect or parallel for a time, for moments or for years, and the impact of some incidents ripple to unimagined outcomes. Unforeseen to me that day in the parking lot at DTS when Julie told me to read Donald Miller's book, one day I would find myself seated at Storyline conference in June of 2012, listening to Donald Miller (see previous post), someone whose ideas fascinate as well as resonate. 

Storyline conference in Santa Barbara, CA June 2012

Same with Bob Goff. When I told Bob Goff that I had attended Storyline in Santa Barbara, with hopes he would be there too so I could tell Petie I met her friend, he offered without coaching to follow what I was saying, "Yeah, I was in Canada." Back then, Donald Miller shared stories about Bob, even in his absence.

I took this shot of the screen when Donald Miller told people about Bob

Same little boy lifted up, like the movie UP, by a thousand helium-filled balloons
"I used to think…but now I know…"

Including the story about the boy from Uganda that Bob has since adopted. Adopted after Bob secured for this child a delicate operation to repair/replace what the Ugandan Witch Doctor had cut off, leaving the child to die. Only the boy didn't die and connections were made, need and provision matched, a real doctor working miracles. Bob recently took this 10-year-old son on a trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. UP. Way, way UP.

Bob Goff does. He practices the message he preaches in Love Does. As Bob's book describes his story, "I used to think, but now I know …," he illustrates that the narrative of our lives should flow from grace with an openness both to God's message to us as well as expressed through us.  

So if per chance in this world of Internet connections you should meet Bob Goff here, there or anywhere, tell him that a girl named Carol told you that he's a great guy and you should read his book, Love Does.

"Go do stuff," he said the night I heard him speak. "Be not afraid. Just live extravagantly."

He added. "If you've got a guide you can trust, you don't need to see where you're going."

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