I knew you before I formed you in the womb. I set you apart before you were born.
During a recent camping trip, I took some photographs of the amazing scenery around us. I concentrated on zooming in on tiny plants and flowers hidden among the large trees, palm fronds, and leafy plants that unabashedly boast their beauty. In noticing these smaller weeds and ground plants, it was evident that they had their own intricate beauty easily overlooked if not photographed so closely.
That got me thinking about humans. We all love the flamboyant, boisterous, and friendly extroverts. They are the ones who are comfortable being the center of attention and have never met a stranger. The slightly different characters that over-communicate and talk your ears off are pretty memorable, too. We’ve all learned to avoid the grumpy malcontents who can’t be made happy no matter what is said or done.
But—what about the quiet folks? We all briefly notice those bashful introverts that stay on the fringes, too shy to speak but always wearing warm and friendly smiles. They tend to be overlooked because they are standing in someone else’s shadow or easily ignored because they don’t assert themselves into conversations. It’s often incorrectly assumed that people on the edges are antisocial or snobby. Maybe they don’t feel secure or accepted enough to share themselves or they sense that people think less of them because they are not assertive, aggressive, or vying for the spotlight. Most of the time, they are just so secure in themselves and who they are that they don’t feel the need to impress anyone or explain themselves—they simply shine from within.
What happens when we try to draw them out of their shell and get to know their stories? What I have noticed is once you find common ground with an introvert, their backgrounds are usually filled with profound character and perseverance. They think on a deeper level. In discovering the different layers of their personality, there is a special elegance to be found. A grace that is so intricate and exquisite, it takes a little close up to experience it.
It’s like that with nature and people. Each person, every plant, and different critter, has a purpose given by our Creator—that purpose may be immediately recognized by what is visually in the forefront, or it may take a little digging and pointed effort to see it. In the end, encountering the hidden beauty can be life-changing. We just have to open our eyes and our hearts—move through some trees, leaves, and scrub bushes—to take a closer look and discover the complexities, the layers, and the richness.