Guest Author – Karisa You
On March 3, 2021, law school fellowships across the nation gathered virtually to welcome author Bob Goff for encouragement and inspiration.
Here is the testimony about the event and its planning by one of its organizers, Karisa You.
Thank you, Karisa, for sharing this beautiful story.
At the beginning of this semester, our University of Southern California (USC) Christian legal fellowship prayed about what events God wanted us to host in the spring. Our secretary/treasurer, Eric Nimmo, said we should take advantage of the unique opportunity the Zoom pandemic life has given us and find a virtual speaker. I reached out to Bob Goff right away, and he was excited to give a short message that could encourage law students. We needed at least 100 attendees to make the event possible given certain logistical factors but among our Christian fellowship at USC, I couldn’t imagine over 10 students joining. That day, I prayed and asked God, “God, if you want this event to happen, I need at least 100 expected attendees by the end of the week.” After reaching out to different Christian law fellowships, we had at least ten schools eager to join us and well over 100 expected attendees by the end of the week.
The event quickly grew more than I anticipated. I started a group chat, and every day it seemed new students were joining from law schools across the nation. By the night of the event, we had around 30 law schools officially co-hosting the event and several others attending.
In addition, after our original scramble to invite more people, we had friends, family, undergraduate, international, and graduate students from other departments joining. We had a number of details to work out, and I often found myself becoming stressed, but at a virtual prayer night with our leaders the weekend before the event, I felt God telling me not to worry, as the whole thing was in His hands.
In a moment of silence to listen to God after our prayer, I felt God tell me: “I’m holding it, Karisa. You don’t have to worry about literally any detail. I will take care of everything.” And even if something felt like a mishap, God would smooth it out and take care of it all. I needed to hear that because, the night of the event, we had some major emergencies and almost had to call off the event. But everything ended up working out beautifully.
Over 260 students, friends, and family came. Multiple students texted me after that they were in tears, touched by Bob’s love for Jesus and reminders to persevere. Bob told us that we have the power to make someone feel the love of Jesus by taking time to listen and pay attention to them.
We ended the night with Q&A, and Bob reminded law students that we have the power to be kind and positive while “lawyering.” We can always be ready to speak of the hope we have in Christ, while being gentle and respectful (1 Peter 3:15). If we really want to be like Jesus, we must love people who we may not want to love, people who may be considered “different” by the world’s standards, people who we may disagree with. If we take seriously the commands of Christ, we must love people with actual actions, not just words. Bob reminded many of us law students the power we have to show the world Jesus’s love, compassion, and justice through our legal careers and the way we treat others as Jesus would.
One of my favorite quotes from Bob Goff’s book, Love Does, is this: “(God) says to ordinary people like me and you that instead of closing our eyes and bowing our heads, sometimes God wants us to keep our eyes open for people in need, do something about it, and bow our whole lives to Him instead.”
Thank you, Bob!
The event was hosted by the various Christian legal fellowships of:
Duquesne University Law
George Washington Law
New York Law School
Penn State Dickinson
Quinnipiac University Law
Southern Methodist University
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Georgia
University of Idaho
University of Kentucky
University of Southern California
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Washington University in St. Louis
William & Mary
Director, CLS Law School Fellows
Law Student Ministries Coordinator