I truly believe that it is the way of Jesus, the way of the cross, the way of the suffering servant, the way of meekness and humility, of giving and sharing, the way of love that wins out in the end. It is by dying that Christ won victory over death. But so often as we live life I look around me and it feels like the people who are winning are those in power, those wielding force and those driven by greed. But winning what? Today Anna reminded me that the way of Christ is the way of life, the way of experiencing this life to the fullest. We were at a birthday party this afternoon where they had a pinata full of little toys and games. After all the trinkets came crashing down there was, of course, the resulting melee of kids wrestling for a place on the floor, pushing, grabbing, all trying to fill their own bag with as much stuff as possible, all very normal behaviour for kids their age. Anna stood back and watched all this for a minute. You could see the dilemma in her head. She didn't want to dive into the fray. Pushing and shoving didn't seem worth it to this non aggressive little girl to get some 'stuff' But she did want some of whatever it was that had fallen all over the floor just like the rest. She went around to one side of the pile and was able to collect three little toys before the whole squabble was over and all the items were inside one child or another's little bag. Then she came running back to me to show me what she had found, dumping her prizes on the floor. Two of her friends also came over and dumped theirs onto the floor. They each had quite a pile. You could see that Anna was sad as she eyed their piles, wishing she had as much stuff as they did, interested in what it all was. We looked at each of her three things and I showed her what they were for, and then she jumped up with one of them in her hands and went running over to give it to her sister. Josie didn't have any herself. She had just gotten to the party late and was still waking up from her nap sitting on Mitch's lap having a snack. Anna's first thought was for her sister. Even though she didn't have much she wanted to share what she had to make her sister happy. I was in awe of my little girl and her desire to do something that is hard even for adults to do. It was so beautiful to watch.
When we were talking later about the party I complimented Anna on sharing what she had with her sister and she told me "Yeah, it made Josie happy when I shared with her, it made Josie happy." She was completely focused on her sister's happiness. At the end of the day that truly is what it comes down to. It was making her sister happy that made Anna happy. Not more stuff. Isn't it that the kind of happiness that we are all seeking? We think more stuff will make us happy, but actually giving away what we already have to someone who has less than we do is what brings happiness. Thank you, Anna, for reminding me of that today. Thank you for showing me your beautiful heart. My response in the situation was to be frustrated at the other parents that never asked their children to share with the other kids in the room who either didn't have any toys or who had fewer than they had (there were others who were left out of the fray). I was feeling like my daughter was losing because she was being gentle and kind. But she was showing me that she was winning something of far more value and being true to what really makes the world go 'round. Thank you for following your heart, Anna.