12 de fev de 2008

Tenderness by Elisabeth Elliot

Title: Tenderness

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

There isn't a man or woman anywhere, I am convinced, who does not long for tenderness.

When I was in college, a girl who lived on my floor in the dormitory was pursued by a number of ardent young men on the campus. When the floor phone rang, we assumed it was for her. She was the kind who "could have anybody,'' it seemed, and treated most of them with casual carelessness. But one young man in particular would not be discouraged in his efforts to win her, even though she kept him at arm's length and declined some of his invitations. She made light of his attentions, as she did of many others', but was given pause one day when a bouquet arrived.

Like any woman, she eagerly snatched the card from its tiny envelope. Although one is supposed to be able to "say it with flowers," we all want plain English, too.

On the card were two words: Tenderly, Bill.

I think it did her in. She was a buoyant, outgoing, attractive, sometimes flippant girl, but that word pierced the armor. When she showed it to me, it gave me a whole new vision, through a single powerful word, of what that man was made of. He was not handsome by any means. He was rather ordinary, in fact. But suddenly I saw him as strong and unusually desirable. I had not known that tenderness was an absolutely essential ingredient in a man, but I knew it at once, when I saw the card, and mentally added it to the list of qualifications I would need if I ever found a husband.

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