Anna entered the front door into the living room and watched as people quickly left when they saw her. She knew what it was. Seeming to grow darker every week, her glowing tan made her stand out from the pale skin the other people in this house. These people, like many others in town, avoided the sun at all cost. They treasured their ghostly appearance and looked down on her sun-darkened skin as if it made her of less value than they saw themselves. Anna didn’t like that they treated her differently than they treated each other, but accepted it. Her tan was important to her – more important than the opinions of those who didn’t understand its significance.
Spotting her new friend across the room, she waved and hurried to join her. “Hi, Tammy! How’s it going?”
“Pretty good,” Tammy said. “I just got a new gardening book and am excited to try out some of its ideas.”
“Awesome,” Anna said. “Let me know if you want any help. I love gardening.”
“I sure will. Right now, though, I’m starving. Want to see what’s in the kitchen?”
“Mmm… that sounds wonderful.” Anna motioned towards the hallway. “After you.”
Tammy led Anna down the hallway and into the large, well-lit kitchen. Several people were gathered around the island counter helping themselves to chips and salsa. One man was stirring a pot on the stove, while an older lady was filling a cup with ice from the refrigerator’s ice dispenser. Two children were arguing over the last cupcake on a plate near the sink. Across the room half a dozen people sat at a large table topped with the remains of an assortment of finger foods. From the sound of their animated voices, they were in the middle of a serious debate.
As soon as Anna and Tammy stepped into the room, all conversation stopped. People either glared at the girls or stared at their plates. Some mumbled to each other. A few took sips from their cups. The man at the stove continued stirring, but the lady with the cup of ice motioned to the kids and ushered them out of the room.
Anna tried to ignore the animosity she felt being directed at her. She smiled at Tammy. “The chips and salsa look good.”
Before Tammy could respond, a woman at the island said, “Sorry, there isn’t enough left for you.”
“But the bowl is full…” Tammy said.
“I said there’s not enough.” The lady frowned at Tammy.
“But – ”
Anna interrupted her. “It’s okay, Tammy. She says there’s not enough. I have a better idea. Let’s go get some ice cream. My treat.”
Tammy frowned but agreed.
Once outside, Tammy said, “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that. Why do they hate us so much?”
“It’s our tans. It sets us apart, makes us different. And they don’t like that.” Anna unlocked her car doors and climbed in the driver’s seat. “By the way, your new tan is looking good.”
“But they are all different.” Tammy continued as soon as she had settled in the passenger seat. “Different sizes, different hair color, different ages, even different clothing styles. Why don’t they accept our difference like they accept each other’s?”
Anna started the engine and back down the driveway. “I don’t know. It seems unfair that they celebrate all differences, except for one.”
Tammy crossed her arms. “I wish we could make them see how hypocritical they are.”
“That would do no good. They can’t see. Besides, we were warned that spending time in the sun would give us tans, and that the tans would not be welcomed by other people.”
“Yeah, you’re right. So, what are we supposed to do about it?” Tammy sighed as she looked out of the side window. “Just ignore it?”
Anna shot Tammy a half-smile. “You got it. It’s not easy. It’s even harder trying to be nice to them when they aren’t nice to us, but that’s what we’re told to do. How else will they see that tans are not bad? How else will they be curious enough to spend time in the sun themselves?”
“If only they would. Then they would find out what we’ve discovered. Nothing is as life-giving as the sun. I love my tan.” Tammy looked over at Anna. “Hey, what about after the ice cream, we go to the park and spend some time soaking up some more sun?”
“I would love to.” Anna smiled back. “A perfect way for two friends to spend the afternoon.”
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
But whoever does what is true comes into the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:21
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. John 15:20
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, Luke 6:27
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. John 3:20
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4