01 Sep Love Does, So We Do Too
Last year, I read a book by Bob Goff called Love Does. Every time I came to the end of a chapter I found myself smiling—no, I was beaming. His words carried me to faraway places, to an unknown land of DOERS. In a chapter, called “The Interviews,” Bob describes how his children wrote to every world leader, asked each for a private meeting, and then invited all of them for a sleepover at their house.
And believe it or not, more than a few actually took them up on it.
Who does this? If you’re Bob Goff, giving a dictator the key to your house is a perfectly normal thing to do. And why not?
Two years ago, when we begin thinking about Forever We and what we wanted it to do and how we wanted people to feel when they encountered us, I came across these words in Bob Goff’s book:
“You know what it is about someone that makes them a friend? A friend doesn’t just say things; a friend does.”
For Bob Goff and his family, that meant that they weren’t going to be scared of people who weren’t like them. They were going to open their hearts and open their hands to a friendship that welcomes whimsy with childlike faith.
I wanted to figure out how to do that, too.
I didn’t want to lead a company built on platitudes and good intentions.
We wanted to open our hands to the surprises God had in store for us. And more than anything, we wanted to create something based on giving.
The other day, I found myself browsing a downtown shop that sells furniture and home décor, and I saw this little bronze statue of a pair of hands. I placed it in my own only to discover that those hands might has well have been carved from my very flesh. Today, they sit on the table in my foyer and every time I walk down the stairs or by the front door, I see the hands, cupped in hopeful anticipation, gently cradling an unseen blessing, upturned and open and ready.
And I think about how so often we just want to close our hands so tight around the things we have. We don’t want to let go. We’re afraid to let go. We’re afraid if we open them that something important might float away without us.
But the alternative is that nothing can come to us, either. Closed hands and closed hearts might keep scary things from getting in but they also keep some things that are really quite wonderful from getting out.
I used to think the things I got were way more important than anything I could give away—the accolades, the prizes, the recognition. But now I know that giving and receiving literally go hand in hand.
A year ago, I decided that I wasn’t just going to tell my friends how much I loved them. I was going to show them. For Tami and Audrey and Robin and Dylan and Mandi and Mary Elizabeth and all the children we’ve met along the way, Forever We is for you.
If only in September, during this month of Childhood Cancer Awareness, you would open your hands, you might be surprised to discover the blessings that will ensue. Believe me, the stories of the little children suffering hurt us, too. I want to clap those cupped hands over my ears so I won’t hear their stories. I want to plaster the cupped hands over my eyes, so I cannot see their little bald heads. But instead, God has called me to open them and to speak for them, and so I ask you,