“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” – Love Does
It’s always wonderful to hear how our books have inspired readers, but never more wonderful than when such a reader is one of our children. Janene is a senior editor here, and her daughter is Annie. After reading Bob Goff’s Love Does, Annie decided to apply to law school. Despite being a young mother raising an eighteen-month-old and a four-year old, married to a newly board-certified ER physician, Bob’s book inspired her to push forward. She wanted to earn a degree as an encouragement to mothers with young families, and to serve others in a tangible way.
After receiving her acceptance letter to the University of Missouri School of Law, Annie gave a copy of Love Does to each of the attorneys who had written letters of recommendation.
During summer 2017, Annie donated more than one hundred hours of time as a law student extern helping local attorneys with guardianship proceedings for needy kids. Annie’s heart for pro bono work is simple: she wants to make a way for people to experience love and justice regardless of their income or social standing.
“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.” – Love Does
If we scoured our office, our city, and the globe, we would find countless stories of love being done. There is something wholesome about that little blue book. It was written by a perpetually gleeful man who included his personal cell phone number in the back. It’s impossible to read it and not believe, truly, that being present can change a life, and showing love can change the world.
He visited our office after his book’s publication. This is not a rarity; our authors are in and out all the time. We’ve had people like Kathie Lee Gifford and Newberry Award-winning Kwame Alexander come through our doors. But everyone remembers when Bob Goff came. They filled the room and lined up down the hallway for the chance to meet him. There’s something about him that makes people want to see if it’s real.
Bob Goff’s newest book, Everybody, Always arrived yesterday. I cried the first time I held an advanced copy in my hands. But I was nervous. Could anything live up to Love Does? Sequels to knock-outs in fiction are a struggle, but an amazing follow-up to nonfiction….thats almost impossible.
So I read it. And cried. And felt, despite being in the midst of a few scary years, hope. Hope that we could change things, piece by piece. Hope that we could learn to love everybody, always.
“Loving people means caring without an agenda. As soon as we have an agenda, it’s not love anymore.” – Everybody, Always
We don’t usually include excerpts, but I feel this time is an exception. It’s nearly futile to describe Bob Goff. You have to let his own words speak. Here’s an excerpt from Everybody, Always where he addresses the aforementioned phone number:
These days I get lots of telephone calls because I left my cell number in the back of almost a million copies of my last book, Love Does. Jesus was available to everyone, and I am reminded of the power of engaging strangers as I field dozens of calls from them daily. People don’t follow vision; they follow availability. I don’t send people to voice mail anymore. Try it for a week. Loving people the way Jesus did means living a life filled with constant interruptions. Take the calls. Interrupt your days. Be excessively available, and you’ll be just like Jesus.
There’s a kid who calls me every three weeks and cusses at me. I’m a lawyer and thought I’d heard all the bad words before. Evidently there are some new ones because he’s unloaded quite a few on me. The funny thing is we’ve never gotten to what he’s mad about. Each time before he hangs up, I tell him, “I’ll always take your call.” Here’s why: I don’t want him to climb a tower with a rifle or say these things to someone who just walked out of a biker bar. They’ll kill him.
I’ve got the young man tagged on caller ID as “Vulgar Kid” because I need to brace myself each time before I get an earful from him. Is it fair he says mean things to me? Of course not. But here’s what’s changing in me: I don’t want what’s fair anymore. I want to be like Jesus. It’s a distinction worth making.
Like I said, describing someone like this is futile. Bob has plenty more to say in Everybody, Always. He still puts his money where his mouth is, and believes, simply put: love does.
HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., operates Page Chaser, the publisher of Love Does and Everybody, Always.