When we go to Mass on Sundays we usually leave our 2 youngest children, Maggie and Brady, in the babysitting room for obvious reasons. Today Brady had a cough so we did not think we should expose him to the other children and we brought him to Mass with us...but Maggie still went to the "play area".
After Mass we went to pick her up and Grace, our oldest, likes to go in first to see her and the rest of us follow. Today, being St. Valentine's Day, one of the sitters brought in valentines with little dumdum suckers taped to them. Maggie was so excited about hers and was showing Grace right away! When I got to her the woman who was passing them out gave her another one and said, give this one to Brady (because Brady usually goes in there too). Grace had to stand by and watch her younger siblings get valentines. I could see in her eyes this was a little troubling.
Now, Grace is in 1st grade and her class JUST had their Valentines Day party this past Thursday and she brought home a whole box full of valentines and candy. I must say she has been a champion at sharing her "goods" with Maggie (and Brady if I say something is ok for him to eat).
In the car on the way home Maggie asked if she could have the sucker (Maggie is my candy-holic). I told her yes, and as she was unwrapping her sucker Grace asked her if she could hold the valentine and read it to her. Maggie said yes. But then Maggie wanted it back. She got it back and just kept repeating out loud what Grace said that it said. Maggie was elated to have her very own valentine! Grace kept trying to get it from her and would say that she wanted to read it again. Grace, although she had a whole box full of valentines at home, wanted the ONE seemingly very special valentine that Maggie had.
And it all made me start to think, of course, about how we all can be like this in our lives! Haven't you had times when you were "full" - full of posessions, full of happiness, full of love...and then you see someone that has "something" - that perverbial "something" that you wish you could have too...maybe a posession, maybe a personality attribute, maybe a physical quality, possibly a spiritual quality.
"ENVY IS UGLY"
I would like to think possibly that Grace didn't so much want the valentine as she wanted to share in the excitement of it with Maggie.
And so with us too, when we catch ourselves in the midst of envy (and let's try harder to catch ourselves), maybe we can concentrate our efforts on celebrating the achievements of others...encouraging others...hoping for more for others. These are all loving actions that can eliminate the envious feelings. God, with our own efforts, will take care of us and always give us more than enough.