January 15, 2024

Helping By Sewing

Devotion for the week...

I'm deep in writing devotions for the Moments with Jesus QAL and Devotional Journey, while also doing all the prep work required to open registration for it on Wednesday, so here's a devotion from last year's Women of Wisdom devotional journey.


Today’s woman of wisdom makes a very short appearance in the Bible. In Acts 9 Dorcas is the focus of only 6 verses and for most of them, she’s dead! The memories of the other people in the story give us a glimpse of her wisdom, though.

I was first introduced to Dorcas years ago, when our church asked the kids to come to an event dressed as their favourite Bible characters. One of the leaders, a talented seamstress, came carrying a basket of fabric and sewing notions, with her measuring tape draped around her neck. When the kids asked who she was supposed to be, she explained that Dorcas was a seamstress who helped people by sewing for them.

Here’s her story:
“There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, ‘Please come as soon as possible!’

So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, ‘Get up, Tabitha.’ And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive” (Acts 9:36-41).

From these few verses, we don’t know anything about Dorcas’s family or financial situation. All we know is that she died suddenly and a crowd of widows came together to mourn her, carrying or wearing things she had made for them. Her kindness had meant the world to these women who likely had very little material goods. From verse 36, we know that Dorcas was in the habit of doing kind things for others and helping the poor however she could.

Problems like poverty can feel overwhelming. Our efforts to help can feel more insignificant than a drop in the ocean, so what’s even the point? And in the face of so much need, sewing doesn’t seem like much of a solution.
Using the skills we have to help someone always makes the world better | DevotedQuilter.com
But Dorcas, and the widows who mourned her, show us the truth. Using the skills we have to help someone always makes the world better. Sure, making a coat (or quilt) for someone won’t lift them out of poverty, but it will make an impact. It will help keep them warm, while also being tangible proof that someone cares.

Rather than letting ourselves be overwhelmed by the big problems of the world, we can be like Dorcas and use the skills we have to help, one person (and one quilt!) at a time. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for telling us about Dorcas. Before your post I hadn't thought about who she was, only about her being raised from the dead. Margie \TN


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