This chapter is awesome. Bob talks about meeting Ryan, a young guy who is ready to propose to his girlfriend and keeps asking Bob (a stranger to Ryan but owner of the house Ryan would like to use to propose to his girl) for help in his engagement plans. Anyway, since Bob is a boss, he ends up helping Ryan, and Ryan proposes in a scene complete with Coast Guard water cannons. WHAT? I'm going to be happy if I just don't get proposed to over the phone!
Bob makes an important point through Ryan's story, though. He talks about living our lives in an "engaged" manner, going after love like Ryan did - a love that is audacious, whimsical, strategic, and contagious. Bob says this engaged way of living is about "going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light" (p. 24). And when we live our lives in this state of excited, extraordinary love that we find through Jesus, love will multiply; it's contagious, so we'll infect others with this desire to live and love radically.
I really like that word "audacious." I was pretty sure I knew what it meant, but I looked it up in the dictionary anyway, and I found an alternative definition that is so awesome. Audacious can mean "extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas; highly inventive." Now I'm challenged by this definition - how can I love audaciously? How can I modify my love with that adverb? How can I think outside the box and love people in ways that they've never been loved before? Let me know if you have ideas. I'll keep you updated with anything I come up with. But seriously. Let's pursue this!
Bob closes in talking about how Ryan's love emulated the love Jesus talks about, "a love that never grows tired or is completely finished finding ways to fully express itself" (p. 24). I think it also emulates the love that Jesus demonstrated here on Earth. Jesus was audacious. He loved without restriction to prior ideas, choosing to eat dinner with prostitutes and tax collectors instead of the "respectable" members of society. He was the first person to love others so incredibly radically. But guess what? He doesn't have to be the last! As Christians, we are to strive to be Christ-like so let's seek out ways to love audaciously, ways to love with whimsy, ways to love strategically, and ways to love contagiously. Let's love like Ryan did, and, more importantly, let's love like Jesus.
Peace and blessings, y'all!