It wasn’t all she did, of course. She “abounded with deeds of kindness.” But when the people who asked Peter to raise her from the dead, the evidence of her kindness was the clothes she had made. Tunics and garments, to be specific. The practical clothing that was worn by the widows in Joppa.
Clothing takes time. It takes fabric. It takes an awareness that what showed compassion to these women who had been left without a provider, who were concerned for the people they cared for, was more than a funeral meal, more than a prayer. It was clothing.
When she died, these women in particular were twice abandoned, first by their husbands, now by Dorcas.
And God hear their request twice.
First, by providing Dorcas, who used what she could do to care for those who needed it, a life of compassion.
Second, by providing Peter, who used what he had learned to ask for Dorcas’ life back. He had seen it with a young girl in Capernaum once, and he was part of it now.
I wonder if we are so desiring of that second kind of answer to prayer (to be Peter), that we underestimate the first kind of answer to prayer (to be Dorcas).
I think the need for Dorcas is constant. To do what we know for the good of those in need.