Acts 9:40,41 – Peter made them all leave the room. Then he got down on his knees and prayed. He turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes and looked at Peter and sat up. He took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then he called in the faithful followers and the women whose husbands had died. He gave her to them, a living person.

My childhood memories were lived in Texas full of adventures in woods, rushing streams and even walks to my school greeting horses along the way. But my fondest memories were the frequent road trips to Gainesville, Texas to see my grandmother who was a widow. Her house took on the noise of the busy street and the railroad nearby but the home cooked meals and the outside screened porch where we slept all made up for it. My grandmother made her meager living sewing. One of the joys of being there was going through boxes of scrap material or the many quilt squares of varied designs. My mother took up the same gifting and made many of my sister’s and my clothing. To this day I have one of my grandmother’s special quilts that she made.

The book of Acts portrays the same, a woman sewing for the good of others. Her name was Dorcas who was a widow and the scripture isn’t quite clear about how she died only that several widows gathered around her as she lay lifeless and the news eventually got to the Apostle Peter. They showed Peter her material and what she did with it. I am not sure how long she suffered with her illness-did she die quickly or did the dream within her die first? Was she shut down during her illness that made her silent? Whatever the case was, Peter traveled from another town and found her upstairs lifeless with her material laying all around her. There was garments yet to be made, dreams yet to birthed and Peter was there to bring resurrection to all that fell silent within her. She wasn’t a preacher, nor married to one, she performed no miracles that we know of but she used those scraps of material to change lives. Peter prayed for her and told her to get up and she did and that is where the story ends with others giving glory to God. I believe she found more scraps to use for the glory of God! Maybe she started a whole society with widows from all over the region, pulled all the their pieces together and more garments were made for the poor! Something tells me the more she used God’s material, the more her strength came back! Dorcas inspires us to re-frame how we see ourselves and the impact we can have on our city no matter how insufficient we feel or shut down we become. Reach for that box of scraps and you just might feel a fresh wind blow within you!

Oh I forgot to mention my grandmother’s name was Jewel.

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