Love God, Love People, and Do Stuff

There’s something really really unique and beautiful about a person who makes following Jesus look simple. Last week, one of those people came to Baylor chapel.

Bob Goff loves people. He throws a parade down his street in San Diego and he ties helium balloons to his friends until they float. He jumps into lakes with his clothes on to send his guests off and he always refers to his wife as “sweet Maria.” He doesn’t shake hands, opting for an awkward side hug instead. He crowd-surfs people during his talks and he teaches Ugandans how to tarp-surf. He puts his phone number on the back page of his book and picks up when you call. All this is even more incredible when you realize he runs a law firm that he started and serves as the US Consul to Uganda.

My buddies and I were talking together a couple days after he spoke. We were asking each other what it was about him that made the gospel look so attractive. Why did we see the person of Jesus so clearly in him? The answer is simple. He takes these words seriously:

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13

This command comes just hours after Jesus has washed his disciples’ feet and just hours before he is arrested and taken to trial. From this command, we get the day Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter Sunday. The label Maundy comes from the latin mandatum, which means to command. On the day we celebrate as Maundy Thursday, Jesus commanded the disciples to love each other like He loved them. Then went and showed them how much He loved them. His love was a love that does. Bob gets that and that’s why he called his book Love Does. It’s an incredible read, full of crazy stories about where God’s love goes when you aren’t afraid to simply live out the last commandment Jesus gave before He was crucified.

My friend Abhisek, who recently became a Christian, loves Bob Goff. It’s one of the biggest man-crushes I’ve witnessed, and his face was glowing when Bob signed his book after chapel. Here’s what he signed.

Love God. Love people. Do Stuff. -Bob

And I can’t help but ask myself what Jesus would write if he came to chapel and signed books. Based off of the Jesus I see in scripture, I think He’d probably write this.

Love me. Love people. Do stuff.

Abhisek and Bob

Abhisek and Bob

Just a reminder, you’ve got five more days to give to Mission Waco through Jared and I’s fundraiser. Check it out http://www.razoo.com/story/Lent-And-Living-58

 

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Mission Mondays: Sleeping Around

IMG_0386Jared and I started sleeping around in the middle of February. Some nights we’re in the big tree by the Student Union Building. Other nights we’ll hang our hammocks by the tennis courts. Every once in a while, we’ve gotten a little more creative, and we’ll wake up on the shores of Lake Waco or inside of a tent on a trampoline. During a spring break road trip, we woke up at the foot of waterfalls or in deep redrock canyons. If it rains, we’ll throw a tarp over us. If it’s cold, we’ll bundle up.

The idea is silly. We pay to live in the dorms and we’ve got great beds in there with fancy mattress toppers and soft sheets. We set an alarm and it wakes us up at the same time every morning. Beds are efficient. You fall asleep faster, you get more done in the morning, your back is less sore. Sleeping outside is silly, uncomfortable, and inconvenient, and that’s exactly why we are doing it. We wanted to do something silly, uncomfortable, and inconvenient if it meant that people would pay attention and support the poor and the marginalized of our city.

The poverty rate here in Waco is thirty percent. That’s more than twice the national rate of thirteen percent. But those are just numbers. They don’t capture the overwhelmed schools, the dilapidated homes, the broken families, or the deep chill of sleeping outside. Those you have to experience to really know. The last several weeks of this series, I’ve told you a little bit about Mission Waco and how I’ve been able to get involved. My time with them has given just a glimpse of the picture, but that glimpse was enough.It was enough that Jared and I decided to sleep outside for Lent. We talked about what we’d be giving up and why, and a lot of that conversation is wrapped up here in this postSleeping outside has been a way that we could enter the world of the materially poor. We’ve been able to enter that world for six or seven hours a night for the last five weeks.

The silliness and the discomfort and the inconvenience of sleeping outside has been a way to be with the poor in their suffering. It’s also been a lot of fun. Friends have joined us for many nights, and conversations sparked by the stars are always better than their indoor counterparts. On top of that, every question we get asked about why we are doing this gives us a chance to talk about God’s heart for the poor and what He’s been teaching us through this.

When we don’t enter into the world of the poor and when we ignore God’s call to serve them, we are the ones who miss out. We miss out on being a part of the restoration that God is bringing to this world. We miss out on the restoration that He brings to us when we are willing to love outside our comfort zone. If you are tired of missing out, I want to ask you to do a small thing. Help the poor out.

Mission Waco has been an agent of restoration here in Waco since 1978. They’ve taken over porn stores and made them into community theaters. They play in the park with kids. They offer job training and mental health services and temporary shelter. Mission Waco isn’t passing out handouts, they are reaching their hand out in a way that communicates to the poor:

You are loved, you have gifts, and we want to help you use them.

At the Mission Waco poverty simulation, I first heard Isaiah 58. This entire chapter of scripture has been a huge motivation for us throughout this time. It gives us a picture of God’s heart for the poor and of what happens when we take His call to serve seriously.

…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

Isaiah 58:10

Jared and I don’t want you to miss out. We want you to be a part of the work that God is doing through Mission Waco. Through this silly sleeping around thing, we are trying to raise $4000 for Mission Waco for the forty days of Lent. Be a part of this awesome organization and be a part of the restoration of this city. Join us. Spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry. Satisfy the needs of the oppressed. Join Us. 

Restoring Waco: Sleeping for a Cause

All $10 and $20 gifts by college students will be matched by an anonymous donor!