a reflection by Sharon C.
When I was a little girl, I had three best friends. Bobbi and I met in school and were almost instantly inseparable. We even told people we were cousins. I told her lots of things, but some secrets were too hard to share. Those secrets where whispered into the ears of my other best friends: the family cat, Spooky, or the plastic ears of an old model horse I called Sugar.
Sugar had belonged to my mom; her paint was rubbing off and her tail was missing. I saw her through the loving eyes of a lonely child, and thought she was beautiful. Plus, Sugar was never too busy to listen; I could talk to her about anything. Bobbi and the cat sometimes had other plans, but Sugar was always there.
When times were very dark for me, I would tell Sugar how I hurt. Sometimes I imagined I could hear her talking back to me, letting me know that things would get better and that I was loved – words I particularly needed to hear.
Many years into adulthood, after trying prayer (which I thought of as very formal), Wiccan ritual, and so on as ways of communing with the godhead, I found myself in a time of severe emotional, financial and psychological crisis. I was in tears on the living room floor, and just started talking. I started by saying “I don’t even know if anyone or anything is out there anymore,” but then I just let it all out, the way I used to do with Sugar, Spooky or Bobbi. In other words, I talked as though my best friend was listening.
When I finished talking to the ether that day, I experienced something I had never felt before: the absolute assurance that I had been heard, and that I would indeed come through that crisis. That was when I realized that prayer did not have to be ritualized. I could talk to our Father and Mother just as I talked to my earthly best friends. What an amazing realization: that someone really was listening when I poured out my heart!
A couple of years ago, I paid a very talented model horse artist to restore Sugar to like-new condition, using reference photographs taken by my mom. The 55-year-old horse has a place of honor in my cabinet. She stands as a reminder to me of a valuable lesson: our Father and Mother God, just like your best friend, always sees you through loving eyes, even when you are damaged, and will always listen.
This reflection was originally published as part of MCC San Jose’s weekly reflection series. Please click the following link for more information about MCC San Jose’s weekly reflections.