36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas). Her life overflowed with good works and compassionate acts on behalf of those in need. 37 About that time, though, she became so ill that she died. After they washed her body, they laid her in an upstairs room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two people to Peter. They urged, “Please come right away!” 39 Peter went with them. Upon his arrival, he was taken to the upstairs room. All the widows stood beside him, crying as they showed the tunics and other clothing Dorcas made when she was alive.
40 Peter sent everyone out of the room, then knelt and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and raised her up. Then he called God’s holy people, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42 The news spread throughout Joppa, and many put their faith in the Lord.
I have met a number of people in my life whom I would consider saints: those whose lives powerfully witness to the truth of the gospel. They are the people who spend their days off volunteering to serve the poor. They are the folks who, when faced with a need, have their checkbooks out before you can even ask. They are the ones you can call at 3:00 am for help with something others wouldn’t even consider doing – even at much more convenient times.
Tabitha from today’s story is one of those saints. We are told that “her life overflowed with good works and compassionate acts on behalf of those in need.” Tabitha’s death represented a huge loss to the community. Those closest to her are overwhelmed with sadness. I can picture her friends showing off the articles of clothing she had made. Maybe the conversation went like this: “Look at this, Peter! She was working on this the morning she died. She told us that if she didn’t get it done, that we should finish it and deliver it to the folks who live in the caves outside the city….she made us promise!”
I’ve had any number of conversations like that in the wake of someone’s passing – where the family wanted to show me signs of their loved one’s kindness, faithfulness and devotion. The projects that were in-process at the time of their passing demonstrate a full life, well-lived right up to the end.
Tabitha’s life overflowed with goodness and blessing for others. We tell her story because of what God did for her. But the people who knew her best told her story because of what she did for them!
by Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
If you were to consider your own life as a measuring cup, would you say your life is overflowing with blessings for others? Is it half-full? Two-thirds? Three-quarters? What’s one thing you could do today to help fill it further?
Prayer: Holy God, I want my life to overflow blessings into the lives of those around me. Help me to leave a legacy of love and service in your Son’s Name. Amen.