All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Acts 9:39
Martha served as a teacher’s aide at an elementary school for over thirty years. Every year, she saved money to buy new coats, scarves, and gloves for students in need. After she lost her fight with leukemia, we held a celebration of life service. In lieu of flowers, people donated hundreds of brand-new winter coats to the students she loved and served for decades. Many people shared stories about the countless ways Martha encouraged others with kind words and thoughtful deeds. Her fellow teachers honored her memory with an annual coat drive for three years after her life ended on this side of eternity. Her legacy of kindness still inspires others to generously serve those in need.
In Acts 9, the apostle Luke shares a story about Dorcas, a woman who was “always doing good and helping the poor” (v. 36). After she got sick and died, the grieving community urged Peter to visit. All the widows showed Peter how Dorcas had lived to serve (v. 39). In a miraculous act of compassion, Peter brought Dorcas back to life. The news of Dorcas’ resurrection spread, and “many people believed in the Lord” (v. 42). But it was Dorcas’ commitment to serving others in practical ways that touched the hearts in her community and revealed the power of loving generosity.
How can you love someone with your kind words and deeds today? How has God used someone else’s kindness to draw you closer to Him?
Loving God, please help me to love others in practical ways each day so I can leave a legacy of kindness that points others straight to You.
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 its citizens 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).