August 24, 2009

Why us? Why not him?

The other night, we were chatting with one of the teens from the youth group. He casually mentioned that he usually wakes up for school around 6:30 a.m. and showers in cold water so that he doesn't "annoy the other kids with stinkiness." Just so you understand the coldness of the water here, last week the average temperature at this time in the morning was about 57 degrees Fahrenheit. We sat in guilty silence, because we knew that his family couldn't afford gas to heat water. Most families around here only use gas for cooking, or not at all. Hot showers are a luxury only enjoyed by the upper classes. Our guilt arose from the fact that we can afford gas not only for cooking, but also for hot showers and a gas grill. In fact, there is a common fight that goes on in our house...

We happen to own three gas tanks. We usually only have one tank filled though, causing the annoyance of switching the tank back and forth between the stove and water heater. Every morning, one person must wait while the other one showers before they are able to heat water for coffee or cooking. It would be overly embarrassing to tell you the amount of time we spend yelling at each other because we are forced to wait ten extra minutes for use of the gas. And don't even bring up the idea of taking a cold shower, because THAT would surely be grounds for divorce.

So we sat in guilty silence because we recognized that we were born into privilege unknown to this 16 year old kid. We grew up with hot showers, air condition, a swimming pool and cable television. And we don't deserve it any more than he does.

1 comment:

stephanie garcia said...

The more we learn, the more we are humbled by what we have that we take for granted. We've had many moments such as you've described in our life as well.