I recently finished reading attorney and law professor Bob Goff’s delightful book, “Love Does.” My favorite chapter was birthed in the horror of 9-11.
The day of the attack, Bob and his wife Maria discussed what was happening with their children. They asked their three youngsters, “If you had five minutes in front of a group of world leaders, what would you ask them to help make sense of life, faith, hope, and the events that are unfolding?”
That conversation prompted the kids to write a letter to the leaders of every nation in an attempt to better understand one another and to share what they hoped to learn from world leaders.
It obviously seemed absurd, but the parents knew it was a teachable moment and encouraged them. They compiled a list of the leaders’ addresses then mailed each a letter asking if they could meet to talk about better understanding one another. Bob and Maria knew they were unlikely to receive invitations but hoped some leaders would reply. The parents promised if they received an invitation, the family would go.
Two or three weeks after the letters were sent a letter or two began to arrive each day. That number eventually grew to 12 in a single day. They received a hand-written note from Prime Minister Tony Blair, saying it was a “jolly good idea” but that he could not meet.
The parents were shocked when an invitation arrived from Bulgaria. A day or two later an invitation came from Switzerland. Then they received a letter from Israel inviting the children to Jerusalem. Eventually, 29 invitations arrived!
At each meeting the children learned about what the leader’s life was like when he or she was a child. As each political leader realized the kids had no agenda other than friendship and better understanding, they would relax and actually enjoy the meeting. At the end of each, the children presented the leader with a key to their home and invited them to visit since they were now friends.
One day after all 29 visits were over, the Goffs’ daughter received a short email from a world leader which simply said, “Dear Lindsey, we miss you and your brothers. Can we please use our key and come for a sleepover?” And they did.
I wish I had been a dad who better demonstrated to his children what it means to dream big dreams. Jesus encourages his followers to do the same when he reminds us, “Everything is possible with God.” (Mark 10:27, NLT)
Most of us could not afford to travel around the world like the Goff family. However, all of us can trust God more and dream far bigger dreams than we usually do. When we are tempted to wring our hands and give up, please do not; trust God and dare to dream about how he can handle our most difficult challenges.