Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Books About Love (Don't Worry, It's Not The Cheesy Kind You're Probably Already Thinking Of)

I love books about love.

I understand the above is a pretty random statement, but the truth and relevance behind it make it a statement worth exploring.

When I mention books about ‘love’ I am talking about the sweep you off your feet, make you do crazy things, live a life of whimsy and grandeur only the love affair with God can bring to you. It’s a love never fully described by any human being (the span of the Earth’s most talented writers could write for their entire existences combined and never fully grasp and be able to form into sentences the epic nature of this love).

That’s probably why I love reading about it.

I love reading about something I can never fully understand. I like how it’s not in the ‘I’m not a science person so I don’t get it’ way, or the ‘I’ve never been good at math’ kind of way—but the ‘This is so huge’ way which leaves us constantly yearning for more… more knowledge, but more so, more experiences. Experiencing this kind of love makes you want to learn more. Learning more makes you want to experience more. It’s possibly one of the best cycles to be on.

The books topping my list of ‘love’ books are Crazy Love byFrancis Chan, The Love Revolution by Joyce Meyer, and the most current addition to the list, Love Does by Bob Goff.

I met Bob Goff once. He gave me a hug upon our first meeting and was one of the most difficult individuals of the day to keep tabs on. The words “Anyone have eyes on Bob?” were so common in one short time frame. It was Not For Sale’s 2012 Global Forum and I was assisting back stage—keeping tabs on all the speakers, making sure they were in the green room prior to their main stage appearance, ensuring they were getting mic’d up at the required time, and then, my favourite part, handing over their ‘Thank You’ gift upon their exit from the stage. While most folks were easy to get back stage-- and have them stay there, Bob liked to listen to the other speakers. Listening to the other speakers in itself is wonderful, however, he enjoyed listening not from the designated place to watch for speakers, but from the back of the room. Really, the back of the room is the best place to take everything in—you get the full experience, but when your job is to get people where they need to be, the back of the room is the hardest place to spot someone and casually get them to the backstage area.

The way individuals flocked to Bob was nothing short of amazing. His “intimate break out session” designed to host 25 individuals literally took over the space. The crowd gathered turned out to be closer to, oh, almost everyone in attendance. If someone can draw that huge of a crowd, hugs everyone he meets, and can actually engage an entire audience, I want to read their book.

I finally got my hands on a copy of Love Does and it has quickly become one of my favourite books to read. The chapter length makes it ideal to bust out while waiting for food, a friend, or between jobs. It has also proven to be a wonderful conversation starter. The stories told, always ending with how wonderful Jesus is and how God moves in our lives, creates a perfect inspirational backdrop to how your days can continue to move forward in pursuit of Love. Love waiting for you, calling your name, reaching for your hand, enticing you to come along for the adventure it knows you are created for.

While I could easily recount numerous concepts, sentiments and one-liners that I’ve wanted to post endlessly on social media, my choice of topic is Whimsy.

I have never been more enthralled with a word than I am of the word Whimsy. In the book Bob says;
“What whimsy means to me is a combination of the “do” part of faith along with doing something worth doing. It’s whimsy that spreads hope like grass seed in the wind. Whimsy reminds me of the Bible, too, when it talks about stuff being like an aroma. It is not an overpowering one, just something that has the scent of God’s love, an unmistakable scent that lingers.”

This description of whimsy is delightful, don’t you think?
Contemplating Bob Goff’s definition combined with the general whimsical sentiment leaves me excited.

Lately I have felt the unmistakable sense of whimsy while riding my bike and looking at the trees. I am consistently in awe of Gods awesomeness when looking at the trees—their sheer size and ability to grow so large is incredible. How each one can be adorned with thousands upon thousands of intricate leaves, and how the roots go so deep down it’s almost unimaginable. Talk about a work of art. Combine those awe-creating factors with all the life giving properties of trees and can someone not be carried away by a whimsy only accented by the warm summer breeze gently swaying them in song and dance? Taking in this awe-creating surrounding allows me to arrive at my destination ready to put faith to action—an action worth doing and allowing Bob Goff’s definition to set in.

When you send love and whimsy flying towards each other from opposite directions, the fragments from the crash are their own brand of ‘doing’ that are unstoppable. It’s up to us to allow the fragments to get lodged in our heart to guide us where God wants us to go—spreading more love and whimsy to all we encounter. Imagine everyone ‘doing’…. I can’t help but smile and feel the inspirational excitement of the justice, restoration, peace, and all other wonderful feats actively being pursued out of what Love can do!

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