I wonder how much shyness has cost me over the years?
I wonder how much it’s cost me just in free stuff?
I think about this when I travel with my best friend Karen. She can’t spell shyness, much less does she suffer from it. Wherever we go she speaks with people, and quite often we walk away with free stuff. I love it!
On our day-trip to Brugge, Belgium – a lovely medieval town – we chose a small cafe for lunch. As the waiter seated us, Karen said, “I love your restaurant! It’s so beautiful!” Her daughter Libby’s expression said, “Here she goes again,” and I was delighted because I knew good things happen when Karen befriends strangers.
It’s not a calculated attempt on Karen’s part to score freebies, she just can’t help herself. She’s a natural talker who sees friends where most of us see strangers.
We, of the Shy Community, smile and thank our waiters when they seat us. Karen learns their life story.
In both scenarios we walk out hopefully having eaten a nice meal, but with Karen the likelihood of walking out with a friend, and with our pockets full of freebies always exists.
In Brugge we walked out with free vials of mystery syrup for hot chocolates with clever built-in spoons. After tasting the syrups I may wonder where we can buy more of these heavenly mixtures or, possibly, why anyone would ever even sell such horrible concoctions, but come-what-may, it was fun.
I never thought of that before. He may not have been as gregarious as Karen – or perhaps He was – but He certainly didn’t suffer from my shyness affliction.
The Gospels would have read differently if He’d been too shy to talk with those who needed healing, or with those whom God chose to be Jesus’ disciples. He still could have, and would have, died for our sins, offering salvation to any who believe, but think of the lost opportunities and lessons His shyness would have cost.
Shy Jesus certainly wouldn’t have been flipping tables in the temple. My friend Karen is a lot like Jesus!
I don’t mean she flips tables, but she does spread her joie de vivre with all those around her, and she makes me feel loved.
I’m reminded of a letter a child sent to CS Lewis asking if it was bad that she loved Aslan more than God. (Aslan is the lion who rules the land of Narnia from his books The Chronicles of Narnia.) Lewis responded that it wasn’t bad at all because it was actually God that she saw in Aslan, and that’s why she loved him so.
I wonder if I can learn to be more like her and look more like Him? I have two weeks in which to study under her while we’re traveling Europe together, and then my daughters can give the “here she goes again” expression Libby gives her mom once I start making friends everywhere I go, but I bet they won’t complain if we walk out with free stuff.
I know they won’t complain if I look more like Jesus and less like “Mom!“