If you have been around for a while, you know that I am a Christian. Now while I do not talk about my faith much on this page, today I wanted to share something that I stumbled across while reading my bible this past week.
It’s about Dorcas.
Don’t know who Dorcas is? Maybe you know her by the name Tabitha. Still not ringing a bell? Yeah, it didn’t for me either. I have read my bible through and through a couple of times now. But she’s in there. I don’t know why I didn’t remember her before. But this past week she jumped off the page at me.
Let me back up.
When I read my bible in the morning, I do this weird thing. I actually read 4 different parts of the bible every day, with 4 different bookmarks. I start off with a Psalm, then read some of the Old Testament, some of the New Testament, and end with Proverbs. I like how it breaks it up, starting me off with worship – leading me into old testament (pointing to Jesus), to new testament (Jesus comes), and ending with wisdom to keep with me all day long. It suits me well, especially when I get to parts of the bible that can be long-winded (Chronicles anyone? Lol).
Well, I have been reading through Exodus lately and am always amazed at the level of DETAIL that God gives the Jewish people for constructing the Garments, the Tabernacle, and more. The bible essentially lays out a detailed pattern of every item made, as well as how to make these items. And calls for gifted woodworkers and seamstresses to make such items from the finest linens, wood, gold, and more.
Now while these chapters can tend to blur together while reading, I am always amazed at the sheer level of detail God gives. No item is left open for discussion. God was in the DETAIL of these patterns and designs. God himself was a creator first and foremost, as creator of the universe. And He created detailed patterns for us to follow.
Fast forward to the New Testament, Acts 9:36-43.
We are told that a woman named Tabitha, Dorcas in Greek, has died. Her friends are grief stricken, and call on the disciple Peter who happened to be visiting a town nearby to come quickly. He arrives, and here is what happens…
39 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. 40 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! 41 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.
42 The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.
This woman was a seamstress people!!!
How had I never noticed that a seamstress was given such prominence in the bible before?
The name Dorcas means gazelle, which is often referred to as an emblem of beauty in the bible. Beauty not being ones external appearance, but rather referring to their actions. Dorcas was using her God given gifts to clothe widows and those in need. After doing some research, I found that there is an entire society now named after her called the ‘Dorcas Society’. People in church groups who get together to provide clothing for the poor.
Dorcas inspired a MOVEMENT that still exists today!
Nothing is mentioned about Dorcas after this passage in Acts. I did a little google search, and here is what I was able to come up with. I will admit, much of it is speculation, but it is interesting to read nonetheless…
So the next time you are wondering whether your sewing means anything, or cursing the amount of detail in the sewing pattern you are working on, think of these two things.
- God is in the detail. From the beginning of time, He is all about that detail. He always has been, and He always will be.
- Think of Dorcas. The seamstress that made it into the bible and inspire a movement based on her gift of sewing and helping others.
It’s amazing how the bible can open up to you, each and every time you read it, no matter how many times you have read it before.
Dorcas. Who knew?