Sara was tossed into her small bedroom, broken and alone, the door locked tight behind her. Tears traced crooked paths down her face, silently protesting this latest breach of trust. Who could she turn to when even the people that had brought her into the world were set against her?
She looked out her silk-curtained window and saw the moon shining, bright against the surrounding darkness. Night’s gem. The Great Comforter, Sara thought, for it shone brightest in the darkest times and gave a reminder that night wouldn’t last forever. A new day was coming.
Sara cried out with a loud, anguished voice, begging to be comforted. So pure was the request and so great the power of it, the moon was compelled out of the night sky. It arrived a shrunken, brilliant globe of light, illuminating the small bedroom while all outside of it was cast into absolute darkness.
“Moon?” Sara said. “I never imagined you would come.”
“I heard your cry,” the moon told her. “Rare is the individual clever enough or desperate enough to entreat me directly. It touched my heart, and I thought to offer what comfort I could.”
Its radiant glow filled Sara. Her pain fled and she forgot all her troubles. She felt lighter than a feather and wrapped in wonder. The world seemed full of opportunity again.
After a short time, the moon told her it had to go.
“Please stay?” She asked.
“I would, but there are many who need my comfort,” the moon said. The small globe of light stirred, but nothing happened.
“What’s wrong?” Sara asked, after a little time had passed.
“It seems by coming down here, I gave you more power over me than I thought possible,” the moon said, a slight tremor in its voice. “I cannot leave unless you wish it.”
Sara almost said it could, but then she thought how nice it would be to have its comfort with her always. “Why should I allow you to leave?”
“It wouldn’t be fair to all the others who depend on me if you do not.”
“Life isn’t fair,” Sara said, perhaps a touch of petulance in her voice. “My life is very hard. Sometimes terrible. And I’ve done nothing I can think of to deserve any of it. How is that fair? Why is it wrong for me to want to keep what goodness I can?”
“Dear, dear Sara,” the moon said with genuine sympathy. “You do indeed have a very hard life, and you do deserve my comfort. But the sad truth is, there are many others just like you, their lives just as hard, betrayed and harmed by the ones closest to them. Only now they can’t even see my light in the sky, and their night and their lives are that much darker for it.”
She thought about its words for a long while. She pictured another girl, locked in her room with nobody to turn to. This girl was weeping softly, wrapped in the absolute darkness created by the moon’s absence. Sara wished she could help.
“You can,” the moon gently whispered.
Of course. She had simply to say the word, and it would return to the sky, and the others like her would no longer be comfortless.
But then she would be alone again…
Tears filled her eyes. Sara knew what she must do. She didn’t want to be one of the people that made other’s lives worse. That would make her no better than those that tormented her so. Instead, she would follow the example of the moon, bringing comfort and goodness to the world instead of more suffering.
She told the moon it could go.
“You are a brave girl,” the moon said. “Not many would have done as you have. Thank you.”
She smiled, full of new-found courage.
The moon drifted away, back into the vast heavens, a radiant pearl against night’s black canvas, and Sara was alone again. She would have to deal with the same problems as before, the same uncaring people.
But it was all right, for she was not like them.
She was like the moon.
Paul Miller writes in Texas, USA.