(First published April 5, 2016)
Here’s a really simple way to show someone you care about them. Care about them. Let them know, by the way that you serve them, that you believe that they matter as a person.
Dorcas made clothes for widows. A lot of clothes. It was her way of loving God. All the widows in town had a Dorcas-dress. She sewed them by hand. She sewed them one at a time.
It wouldn’t have been significant for a lot of people I know, people who want to do amazing things, to change the world in remarkable ways. The idea of sitting by lamplight hemming a dress by hand seems, well, not very world-changing. And certainly not very spiritual.
Except for the widow without any means to buy a dress. Who only had one dress. For that one woman, a hand-made dress matters.
I don’t know how well-made her dresses were. When people talked about her, they didn’t talk about the quality of her work, they talked about the quality of her character. Which called her to make dresses for widows.
Dorcas was a follower of Jesus. She took seriously the idea of doing good and caring for the poor.
Dorcas died one day. Everyone was wrecked. A couple men went to find Peter, specifically because Dorcas had died. When he arrived, all the widows gathered around him and touched the seams that Dorcas had sewn and said, “Do something. Please.”
Peter did what he could do. He prayed. He called Dorcas back to life.
We wish that God would resurrect people. But I think that Luke tells us this story not because of the healing. I think it’s because a woman who sews dresses for widows is as important as the apostle who brought her back to life. If you can’t be one, you can surely be the other.
Even if you don’t know how to sew yet.