Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Beauty of Shyness

There is something beautiful about shyness, even though in our culture shyness is not considered a virtue.  On the contrary, we are encouraged to be direct, look people straight in the eyes, tell them what is on our minds, and share our stories without a blush.

But this unflinching soul-baring, confessional attitude quickly becomes boring.  It is like trees without shadows.  Shy people have long shadows, where they keep much of their beauty hidden from intruders' eyes.  Shy people remind us of the mystery of life that cannot be simply explained or expressed.  They invite us to reverent and respectful friendships and to a wordless being together in love.

Henri Nouwen

I have a couple of very important people in my life that could be called "shy" by this definition. Although they are steadfast in their beliefs, they don't feel the need to share their life story with everyone. The longer I know them, the more I realize we have just barely dipped into the "well" that is their story and it is beautiful to behold! I am blessed that they choose to share with me...

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