This is the first in a series about the 2013 Love Does Stuff Conference, hosted by NYT bestselling author, justice seeker and Jesus lover Bob Goff.
On my flight home from Seattle yesterday, I imagined what it will be like when Bob Goff meets Jesus Christ in person.
Of course, I hope that doesn’t happen for another 50 years or so, because I need Bob in this world teaching me how to love people like Jesus did. He’s better at it than anyone I know.
Bob is a living, breathing disciple of Christ, a first-century apostle on a stage with balloons, hollering about fireworks and felons and child soldiers in Uganda, exhorting us to expand our territory and L-O-V-E people so extravagantly that the world thinks we’re nuts.
Because that’s what Bob does. That’s what love does.
But when he’s done here and we are all weeping and toasting him, I imagine Bob will run as fast as he can into heaven, right up to the crystal lake and do a cannonball.
As the angels applaud and hold up scorecards, Bob will surface and yell, “How cool was that?” And Jesus will nod to Peter and John and say, “There he is, there’s our Bob.”
Then I think Jesus will grab Bob’s face and kiss his forehead, exactly like Bob did to many of us over the weekend. I can almost hear Jesus say:
“Thank you, Precious for delivering so many of them to my feet. Thank you for helping them find me, even the ones who have done heinous and horrible things. Thank you for showing them they are not just invited to my table, they are welcome.”
In Tacoma, Washington, at the first ever conference based on Love Does, Bob’s bestselling book, he must have said that 100 times. “You are not just invited here, you are welcome.”
You are welcome to speak your dreams out loud.
You are welcome to quit stuff, even your job, if it keeps you from Jesus.
You are welcome to not have all the answers about Christianity.
You are welcome to show up with whatever faith you have and leave the rest to Jesus.
Bob Goff is a revolutionary, reminding us there’s only one four letter Jesus used all the time.
In God’s kingdom, love is supreme and without direct, exuberant expression of it, we are just noisy cymbals and clanging gongs. Sadly, the noisy cymbals get a lot more attention than conference speaker Veronica Tutaj does.
Veronica started doing love by handing out programs at church on Sundays eight years ago. Today, she loves on hundreds of pregnant and parenting teenagers in Austin, Texas. She does love with fire in her belly and told all 1,500 of us how to do the same. I think Jesus watched, elbowing Peter and John saying “there’s our Veronica, watch her go.”
Do you want to know how to do love better? Here’s a start.
Pick up Love Does* and let it change your mind about Christian behavior. If it surprises you, then pick up the Gospel of John. Find out what Jesus actually said, not what people say he said. It doesn’t matter what you are currently doing, or who says you are unwelcome. They are wrong.
You are welcome here.
*Proceeds from the sale of Love Does support the school Bob and his friends built for former child soldiers eight years ago. It is now the #1 school in Uganda. For more information visit Restore International.