By Pr. Rhoda Klein Miller

“Oh your back is bright red!” my niece exclaimed. I knew her concern was real as it mirrored my own wincing horror as I spotted others around me glowing like cooked lobsters. From the trim boundaries of shorts and tops the stark contrast of pale skin peeked from under those edges. The sunscreen had worked wherever my hands could reach but the middle of my back missed a protective application. I would be opting for loose shirts and sleeping on my stomach the next few days. My accompanying family members were all blessed with more melanin than me and they continued to enjoy scorch free beach time. Melanin helps absorbs UV light and redistributes it across the upper layers of skin. This direct reminder of the Sun’s intense power got me thinking about those mentioned in the Bible who encountered God’s brightness.

Moses had to veil his face after being with God because the transfer of light blinded the people (Exodus 34:29). Isaiah has a vision of God’s glory filling the temple and exclaims “woe to me! …I am ruined!” (Isa.6:5). John also collapsed when he saw the radiance of the transfigured and resurrected Jesus (Matt. 17:2, Rev. 1:17). And yet although 1 Timothy 6:16 tell us God dwells in unapproachable light, Jesus promised “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt. 5:8). John also encourages us that when Jesus returns to Earth to reclaim and restore His people, “we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). Our spiritual melanin will be like that of Moses as the most brilliant divine being makes Himself approachable and we will fall into His embrace without need of sunglasses or sunscreen!

Rhoda Klein Miller