by Ella Corey
I recently finished the book Love Does by Bob Goff. Bob is an incredibly adventurous and creative man and professor. With endless stories and Biblical Truth, his book serves to encourage everyone to love others relentlessly. His main point, though, is that love is an action. Love doesn’t just think or feel; love does.
“I used to think being loved was the greatest thing to think about,” says Goff, “but now I know love is never satisfied just thinking about it.” Most of us already think we believe this. Words mean nothing without actions that back them. We also know the verse, “faith without works is dead.” But I don’t think I necessarily live this way. There are plenty of people that I claim to love but often times I don’t find myself going to the ends of the earth to serve them. What amazes me about Bob’s philosophy is that he leads with example. To him, love always follows through and he depicts this by doing so himself.
Bob’s perfect example of this is involves a guy named Ryan. In this story, Ryan goes to the complete ends of the earth to make the proposal to his girlfriend absolutely flawless. One day he meets Bob by walking by his house and asking if he can propose to his girlfriend in Bob’s backyard. The next day he comes by with another request, he wants to have dinner in his backyard. The next day, he would like twenty of his friends to hang out in Bob’s house so they can serve them dinner. The requests get more and more ridiculous every single day. By the time of the proposal, Ryan ended up eating dinner with his girlfriend in Bob’s backyard, being served by twenty of their friends, dancing on Bob’s porch, going out on Bob’s boat with “will you marry me” written in candles on the shore. Finally then, Ryan asked the girl of his dreams to marry him with water cannons going off in the bay surrounding them.
You might say it’s overdone, or wonder why Bob would ever get so involved in a stranger’s proposal. But here Bob is supporting and encouraging audacious, outrageous, over-the-top love. Concluding this story, Bob says, “It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about—full of abandon, whimsy, and in love. I want to be engaged to life and with life.”
This love also mirrors Jesus’. It’s a love that is tireless, all consuming, extravagant, irrational, and never finished. Loving like Jesus isn’t simple or easy, and it doesn’t always make sense. Why would Jesus die for someone who has deliberately sinned against Him? Likewise, why would Ryan ask a stranger of all these ridiculous favors for a proposal? I’ve mentioned this quote before by Pastor Mike Erre, but once again I find it so fitting: “We shouldn’t just do the easy task of tolerance, but the hard work of love.” Love is so much more than bearing the people you’re surrounded by. Love is like Ryan. Love does.