At a little after six this morning, Andy said, “Wow, you’ve walked and showered and finished your morning notebook writing already. You’re going to have a productive day!”
I smiled and sipped my coffee. “I’m really looking forward to a solid work day.”
“I know,” Andy said. “It looks like you’re well on your way to having one.”
The day did not go how I expected it to go.
It was completely derailed by a three and a half hour phone call. Then another phone call and another phone call and another phone call and another phone call and another phone call and another phone call. I’m not being dramatic or using poetic license. I was on the phone from 8:00 am until 4:15 pm. The longest break between phone calls was 12 minutes. (I wrote an email and snarfed a late lunch.)
I’m reading Bob Goff’s latest book each morning — Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365 Day Journey. I like Bob’s writing. I’ve never met him, but he leaves his phone number in the back of his books along with an invitation to call him any time, so I figure I can call him Bob since I have his number. I put it in my contacts. You never know, I might one day need to call Bob.
I almost called him a few weeks ago. I was so excited because of something God was teaching me. It’s something I’ve wanted to learn for a long time, and I was finally starting to understand. I even queued up his name on my phone when I was sitting in the grocery store parking lot, but I couldn’t tap to call.
How would it have went?
Bob: Hello! (He promises to answer, and I believe a guy who is crazy enough to put his number in the back of his books is probably crazy enough to answer.)
Me: Hi Bob!
Bob: How can I help you? (I’m not sure this is what he would say, but he seems like the kind of human who might ask how he can help. After all, strangers call his phone.)
Me: Oh, I don’t need help, but I wanted you to know I’ve learned something really cool about faith. It’s something I’ve been wrestling with for a long time. I read your book Everybody, Always a bunch of times and have given it away even more. The whole time I kinda wondered if I was a fraud, because as I read about crazy love (that’s another book I’ve read a lot and have given away a lot), but anyway, I kept wondering if loving people can water down my faith.
Bob: I love Crazy Love. (I’m pretty sure Bob and Francis Chan are friends. I mean, he never said so, but he was helping out a friend when his laptop was stolen and he lost his one and only copy of Everybody Always because he didn’t have backup. I suspect the friend was Francis. Hey, a friend of Bob’s is a friend of mine, so I think I can be on a first name basis with him too.)
Me: Yeah, God’s love is so much bigger than we can imagine. That’s what I’m so excited about! I’ve finally figured out that LOVE CAN NEVER SABOTAGE TRUTH. (I would say it in bold all caps, too.) I don’t know how it works, but I knowknowknow, not just in my head, but in my heart and soul that I can love people, even if they are hard to love and even if they are living in ways that may be at odds with my understandings of Truth. And I don’t love them because they are projects or I want to change them, but I love people because people are cool and fun to love. I love people because God wants us to love people.
Bob: Yes!!! (He’s probably doing a fist pump.)
Me: I’ve been praying to understand the tension between truth and love, but now I get it. Well, I don’t really get it, because it’s too big for me to understand. I don’t know how it works, but I know that I’m so glad my heart and my head are lining up these ideas. I can love people and not sacrifice truth.
Bob: That’s great! God sure cares about talking to each of us and helping us learn to love more.
Me: That’s been my prayer — that I can love more and that I’ll do it in big ways. I want to be full of whimsy so the people around me can see how much fun life can be. Shouldn’t Christians be the happiest people on the planet? I think if we would spend more time loving and less time talking about the rules then there would be a whole lot more happy people.
Bob: I’m so glad you called. Maybe we should talk again on some Tuesday. Good things happen on Tuesdays.
Today didn’t go the way I expected it to go, but I’m not sure it was derailed. Perhaps I should stop viewing phone calls as interruptions, because there’s a good possibility that today was the exact way that Tuesday needed to go.