One of the impressive features during the current pandemic has been the compassion that has been shown by many towards those in need. It would be impossible to estimate the number of ‘unsung heroes’ that have graced our local communities. It is all too often the case that, even as Christians, we are guilty of moving through our daily lives unaware of the needs that surround us.
One of the ‘unsung heroes’ of the New Testament is a woman called Tabitha (Dorcas), Acts chapter 9 verses 36-43. She came from Joppa, an ancient port city in Israel. It was an area of great social deprivation. Behind many of the closed door in its streets were widows and orphans, whose husbands / fathers had died on the dangerous seas. Dorcas was aware of the poverty and sorrow that abounded; therefore, she made it her business to seek out those in need of support. She was well known and valued for her good works and charitable deeds. Many people ended up clothed in tunics and garments that she had patiently and diligently made.
Dorcas challenges us as to how far we are aware of the needs of the areas where we live and what efforts we have made to help address them. We don’t have to travel far and wide to find those in need; indeed, they are often in the street, where we live! Sadly, Dorcas became sick and died. It was no surprise that she was missed and her neighbours wanted her back so much that they did not fully prepare her for burial, in the hope that Peter, the apostle, would be able to raise her back to life. As far as they were concerned she was irreplaceable. Will you and I be missed, when we are no longer here?
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