Wednesday, May 27, 2009


A man was bitterly envious of his nearest neighbour. He used to spend long hours in prayer and meditation. He was an active participant of all available retreat programmes. But his mind was not pure. He developed deep hatred, envy and enmity towards his neighbour. He wanted to be superior to his neighbour in every aspect of life.
One night, God appeared before him in a dream and said,“I am pleased with your prayer and praise. Ask for a gift. It will be granted. But your neighbour will get the same gift in double amount.”
He was glad that God was pleased with him. But he was sad that his bitter enemy would get a greater gift. He planned and asked God to grant a gift. He requested, “God, destroy the sight in one of my eyes.” It was granted immediately. Though he was sorry about his disability, he was happy that his neighbour would loose sight in both his eyes and suffer the bitterness of blindness.
With his single eye, he peeped at his neighbour’s house. But he was surprised to see his neighbour happily walking around without any disability. His sight was not lost! Confused, he complained to God, “Why don’t you keep your word, God? You did not give my neighbour the gift of blindness given to me, in double measure.”
God said, “ Son, I always keep my word. Blindness is not a gift, but a curse.You have the gift of sight in only one eye now, as asked by you. But your neighbour has sight in both of his eyes. He was granted the gift of sight in double measure.”
He suddenly awoke from his dream. He took some time to realise that it was a dream. He examined his sight and was relieved to find that his sight was not lost. He thought about the dream. He was sure that it was a message from God. He thought how foolish he was to request for a disability out of enmity to his neighbour. He was enlightened by the dream. He went to his neighbour and begged his pardon for thinking, talking and acting against him. They embraced each other and were good friends thereafter.
Envy or jealousy is a serious sin. Some angels became envious of God. They were cast into hell. Satan was envious of man. He tried to destroy the sanctity of man. That led to the tragedy of Paradise {Wisdom of Solomon 2: 24}. Cain became jealous of his younger brother Abel and killed him {Genesis 3-8}. The brothers of Joseph became envious of him when he narrated his dreams {Genesis 37: 11}. Hence they tried to kill him and later, sold him as a slave. The Jewish authorities were jealous of Jesus. They plotted against Him and crucified Him {Matthew 27:11, Mark 15:10}.}.
“Don’t be jealous of what sinners achieve. Just stick to your own work, and trust the Lord” {Sirach 11: 21}.
This is story No. 136 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories in this site.
By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

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