Monday, June 20, 2011

A Woman's Touch (Jeremy)

Winter is officially upon us, beginning tomorrow June 21st. With it comes temperatures that drop into the frigid lower 60's. If you take into account the windchill factor, we're facing bundled-up nights in the upper 50's for the next three months. You may think I say this tongue in cheek, but I'm quite serious. The furious heat of summer has drastically altered my concept of cold, and I get out of bed with teeth chattering these days. The most observable impact that this drop in temperature has upon my existence is in the duration of my showers. I would say that on a typical winter morning I shave two minutes off a shower that four months prior lasted five. The reason is simple - electric shower heads. Water for bathing is not heated in a separate tank and then piped into the shower. Instead, water is warmed as it passes through the heating element of the shower head. This set-up establishes an inverse relationship between the flow of water and its temperature - or, more simply, more water equals colder water. Since my approach is basically to maintain the same water pressure, I adjust to the cold by diminishing the length of my showers. My objective is to get in and out as fast as possible.

Now, my wife is of an entirely different school of thought. Unlike me, she will sacrifice water pressure in order to achieve the maximum amount of heat that she can coax out of the heating element. From outside the bathroom, I can hear the heating element arming and disarming as she meticulously works at adjusting the flow to what I would consider little more than a light mist. Once she has discovered the threshold for the least amount of water necessary to engage the heating element, she will huddle under that tiny hot stream until the steam clouds our bathroom mirrors. She delights in the challenge.

I tell this story to highlight the differences between my wife and I. This week I had the benefit of witnessing how valuable her differences are. As I mentioned in the last post, we've been walking through a more intense stage with the guys, working with some more painful issues from the past. Long story short, my attempt at correcting one of the guys escalated into him packing his stuff to leave. Conflict has always scared this guy, as he prefers flight to fight. I was heated but was also aware of the dangerous ground on which we were treading. I tried to help him see that he was reverting to a dangerous pattern, but he couldn't hear me. At that moment, Carol, with the same measured calmness with which she adjusts the water faucet, began to talk to the guy. I stepped away, and, a few minutes later, he was ready to engage once again. I was both humbled by her and thankful for her. From there, we were able to move into a conversation/prayer that really moved this guy's story forward. I don't tell this story to make much of Carol, as she doesn't read my posts anyways. I write this more to highlight the wisdom of God in creating personalities of such stark contrasts - personalities that ebb and flow with the current of redemption. Surely, He blesses, shapes and confronts us with the people that He gives us. With that, I'm not above flushing the toilet when she is in the shower just to disarm the heating element.



Ingrid said...


I study social work at Malmö Univerity in Sweden and are planing to do my examination paper in Rio de Janeiro. I'm searching for a projekt that work with social issues. I am interested in knowing more about your organisation and how you work? My final question is if you are intrested and have time to help me with some questions. In return I am ofcourse intrested to help you in your daily work at the organisation.

Kindly regards Ingrid


rebecca said...

great post! i'm totally on carol's side on this one. :)