“Estera, you got a present from our friend Helen!” my mom told me when she got home from work. Growing up we didn’t have much, so receiving a present in the mail was like a second Christmas. I felt loved, remembered, and valued by God through this wonderful woman.
The poor widows Tabitha (Dorcas) made clothes for must have felt the same way. She was a disciple of Jesus living in Joppa who was well known in the community for her acts of kindness. She was “always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36). Then she got sick and passed away. At the time, Peter was visiting a nearby city, so two believers went after him and begged him to come to Joppa.
When Peter arrived, the widows Tabitha had helped showed him the evidence of her kindness—“the robes and other clothing that [she] had made” (v. 39). We don’t know if they asked him to intervene, but led by the Holy Spirit Peter prayed and God brought her back to life! The result of God’s kindness was that “this became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord” (v. 42).
As we’re kind to those around us, may they turn their thoughts to God and feel valued by Him.
Dear Lord, help me to follow You and show kindness to those around me, so they can see You in me.
Learn more about caring for hurting people at christianuniversity.org/CC205.
Joppa was Judea’s primary port on the Mediterranean coast. After raising Dorcas from the dead, Peter stayed in Joppa in the house of Simon the tanner (Acts 9:43). While there, Peter went up on the roof to pray and saw a vision that reiterated that God’s salvation blessing is meant for Gentiles too (10:9–16; 11:18). It was from Joppa that Jonah sailed for Tarshish instead of going to Nineveh to tell them about God (Jonah 1:3). It’s significant that from Joppa God now calls Peter to go and proclaim the good news to the Gentiles (Acts 10:24–48).