Acts 9: Do what you can
Acts 9:36, 37, 39 In Joppa there was a follower named Tabitha. Her Greek name was Dorcas, which means ‘deer.’ She was always doing works and acts of charity. In those days she became sick and died. After washing her, they placed her in a room upstairs. . . . . So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they led him to the room upstairs. And all the widows approached him, weeping and showing him the robes and clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them.
Dorcas is never mentioned again in scripture after Acts 9:41. She is an example of someone who lived well, doing what she could.
There are many who are interested in living long and living well. Having interesting and challenging hobbies is sometimes listed as a way to improve life. However, sewing for others is not listed among the strategies for adding years to your life.
There are listings of spiritual gifts in scripture. Sewing is not mentioned. It is never recorded that Dorcas ever preached a sermon. She is not listed among the early leadership of the church.
However, Dorcas knew two things: how to sew and people who needed new outfits. She put the two together and began to sew. The people’s needs were met,
I grew up on a farm — home grown beef and chicken, fish in the dugout, food from the garden — and clothes that my mother sewed. I got many compliments on a red hot pants outfit that I wore in grade seven or eight. I loved my Barbie dolls and my Penny Brite doll a lot — and part of that was the homemade doll clothes that my mother made. (I’ve made doll clothes as an adult — those tiny seams can seem more challenging than the bigger ones for ordinary clothes!) I remember Grade 8 home economics and the day the girls in the class decided to show up in the dresses they had finished. I loved the blue dress I had made. I have the time to sew and have begun to sew again.
My challenge to myself: what do I have to give? How can I help others in practical ways? Dorcas probably never preached a sermon, but she gives us something to think about.
CC: K Carswell 2022
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by Permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible, Holman CSB and HCSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.