".....love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.”
Yes. Yes. Yes. I loved this book.
I especially love how Goff portrays God's love for humans as brilliant, compassionate and enduring - it reminded me of the love discussed in Corinthians, full of patience and kindness.
Kindness involves action, so to love someone is to do things for them, and in doing things that expand and multiply love we also open ourselves to feeling pain and rejection and loss.
“That's what love does - it pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end. When you go after something you love, you'll do anything it takes to get it, even if it costs everything.”
God doesn't make mistakes and painful things in our lives aren't "mistakes".
Every thing that happens to us and through us is part of His plan "unfolds something magnificent" in each of us. "And when each of us looks back at all the turns and folds God has allowed in our lives, I don't think it looks like a series of folded-over mistakes and do-overs that have shaped our lives. Instead, I think we'll conclude in the end that maybe we're all a little like human origami and the more creases we have, the better." (37)
Goff encourages love as a verb, and reminds us that the Bible "said that the only weapon any of us really have is love. But its love like a sword without a handle and because of that sometimes we'll get cut when we pick it up." (194)
Goff tackles the hard question of why God doesn't talk to people. Seriously, if God could invent the eyeball and the periodic chart thingy, why couldn't God just hit a button and talk right into our ears?
The answer is clear, the answer is obvious, but only if you believe it. "He doesn't pass us messages, instead He passes us to each other." (144) I'm printing that out and hanging it up here and there. You might want to meditate on it too.
There is an entire section "God is good, all the time. God is good" that you will have to read for yourself because I can't write about it without crying.
Another section that is especially delightful is centered around the theme that "Jesus doesn't want stalkers." Don't (just) memorize passages, don't (just) chant and look for (or stare at) God. You won't find God that way.
For example, a Bible study group could spend a week on one passage, translating it to Greek and Latin and finally moving on, but never "hear" the message of the passage -- go practice kindness.
Go love thy neighbor.
Visit someone who is lonely.
Feed the hungry.
For God's sake do something.
And while you Do this love thing, lose the cape.
There is an entire chapter called "LOSE THE CAPE" in which Goff reminds us that Jesus was not a superhero and often told people shhhh don't tell anyone.
Jesus didn't pull out his iScroll and update his status. He moved on to heal the next person and spread more love and healing. He was fully present, all the time.
We don't need to be superheroes to help God.
The author tells us there are secretly incredibly people among us who just DO things.
If that wasn't clear enough, here is how Goff put it: "Secretly incredible people just DO things." (160)
I think you know what he means. Let God shine through you, but don't wear a super hero cape.
"Jesus wants us to write "Be Awesome' on an undershirt where it won't be seen, not on a hoodie." Alrighty, sign me up for team Be Awesome, I'm already doodling up our logos that no one will ever see.
This is definitely a Christian book so if you don't already jive with the fundamentals you might chafe at a few things in this book. The author does bring up Satan, literally Satan, and I love how he handled it. He said that Jesus basically blew off the devil, and the devil got bored, so if and when you meet Satan just keeeeeeep on going, and don't look back and don't give it any energy, go do something GOOD. This book would've been fine without the discussion of Satan, so feel free to skim over it if you want.
I'll leave you with this: “I think God’s hope and plan for us is pretty simple to figure out. For those who resonate with formulas, here it is: add your whole life, your loves, your passions, and your interests together with what God said He wants us to be about, and that’s your answer.”
I truly enjoyed this passionate book about living a life of faith, hope and action, and I'm definitely giving it to my Mom for her birthday.