“Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive” (Acts 9:36-41).
It’s not difficult to see what Peter saw when he was brought into the upper room. Dorcas’ lifeless body was lying in the room, quiet and still. No doubt the room was crowded – the text tells us that all the widows stood by Peter. The room was filled, not only with the sight of Dorcas’ friends mourning her passing, but with the sounds of their weeping. Can you hear the tears as they run down their cheeks?
The room was also filled with the sight of Dorcas’ good works. Coats and garments that Dorcas had made. No doubt they were beautiful! Look at the skill demonstrated in the stitching! What a wonderful choice of colors!
Verse thirty-six tells us Dorcas was full of good works and almsdeeds. The New American Standard Bibles reads “this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity, which she continually did.” Did you notice? Abounding! Kindness! Charity! Continually!
This was no ordinary clothing. I don’t want to read anything into the text that’s not there, but I believe much of Dorcas’ acts of kindness and charity was the clothing she made. These were not garments Dorcas had made for herself. Dorcas must have made these garments for others who needed them! Dorcas not only loved to sew, she loved to sew for others! She loved to serve others! Did her sewing involve labor? Oh yes, a labor of love!
When Dorcas died, her friends remembered her for her abundant kindness, love, and service to others! How will people remember you?