Some in our world are in for a tough life. They entered it as gentle children and are growing as gentle young adults and a harsh world, brutal in speech and hard, way too hard, is going to be sheer hell for them.
Countless among us feel deep anguish when they’re insulted or forced to “make the first move” toward a possible friendship when they simply don’t have it in them to do it. For these people it’s more than pain it’s absolute agony. They’re so built that the faintest breath of criticism or a hint of rejection slices them to the bone. We can dismiss them as people who simply won’t grow up or want to be pampered but that completely misunderstands them and it would grieve them all the more. It isn’t that they’re hypersensitive in that spoiled and self-centered way that we’re sometimes sure we see in people; those aren’t the ones I’m talking about—these came into our world with a greater capacity for feeling than the vast majority of us possess. They’re needy it’s true and I get it that we have many responsibilities in life that means we can’t help everyone—I think I do understand that. I just fear that we can do a bit better in making ourselves accessible, in gentling our speech or learning the look of honorable and warm glances and we’re too afraid of it costing too much. Yes, I think that has its own legitimacy and should be acknowledged. Some of us have plenty on our plates and find it beyond us (currently) to take more on.
But they’re shy and lonely and timid and will remain that way if they aren’t given some warmth in someone’s smile as they look for welcome and shelter and belonging.
But Tony Newley has taught us something we must earnestly and wisely and honorably consider.
“If she should come to you be gentle
For she’s so very very shy
Don’t ever act unsentimental
She won’t want to stay then
She’ll run far away then
If she should come to you remember
That she’ll believe your every word
And if she trust you she will give you her heart
So remember if she should come to you.”
If they come to us these needy and very shy people and are welcomed they will believe our offer of warmth and shelter and enrichment and when they trust us they will give us their hearts. They don’t know how to keep something in reserve; that capacity isn’t in them, and to people like that, if we break our promises, we break their hearts. To become impatient with them and curtly demand that they quickly gain a “get over it!” attitude is to add torture to torment. If we do that we don’t give them grief for just a few months—grief that will heal by and by; some tender and believing souls will never recover and they’ll carry the pain all their days and nights.
They’ll function but it will be a deeply sad pilgrimage; they will be robbed and so will countless others who could be blessed by the gifts of these who, stifled behind a curtain of fear, are marvelously skilled. The pain won’t always be excruciating but though it hides it’ll never be far away and without warning it will steal the sun from their sky and there’ll be very few really carefree days for them. Shy to begin with, they’ll ll be driven far within themselves; they’ll run far away from the possibility of rich life, too afraid and too deeply hurt to come out into the light again. So if one like that comes to you, and she trusts you, make no grand promises that you’re not going to move heaven and earth to keep. If someone like that comes to you and he opens his or her heart to you, don’t go in if you don’t mean to stay because people like these are ill-equipped for a harsh world. They die long before they die.
And it’s way beyond sad!
Look out for them, won’t you? You can’t help them all; don’t expect that of yourself. But one, a few, some—some who may one day when we’re all gathered around Him in a better world one, a few, some, might walk right up to Him and thank Him for bringing you into their lives.