All the widows stood beside him [Peter], weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.
Acts of the Apostles 9:39c-d (NRSV)
In the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life, the beleaguered and desperate George Bailey is given the great gift of seeing what life would be like if he had never been born.
From the text cited above, the funeral for Tabitha/Dorcas has not yet been held and already widows and others are imagining what life in their community will be like without her. She was known for being a woman devoted to good works and acts of charity. What would others say about us upon our death? Would they miss us? And why would they miss us?
Perhaps she readily made tunics for the children whose parents could not afford to purchase them.
Perhaps she was not only an expert seamstress and tailor, but could readily repair articles of clothing so you would never notice the tear or the hole.
Perhaps she was known for making beautiful clothes for special events.
Even more importantly, she was a disciple of Jesus and having been identified as such, it is clear that she lived out her faith and she will be sorely missed.
Tabitha/Dorcas became ill and has died in Joppa. They had washed her body and laid her out in an upper room. Hearing that Peter was in nearby Lydda, two messengers were sent to him asking him to come without delay.
Once Peter arrived they took him upstairs where he saw the deceased surrounded by many mourners. Peter put all of them outside and then he knelt down and prayed. He then turned toward her and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes and sat up. Peter then called the others in and they no doubt were amazed and overjoyed. As this miracle became known throughout Joppa, many believed in the Lord.
Dear Lord, help us, like Tabitha/Dorcas, to be known as being devoted to good works and acts of charity. Help us to live, so that when we die, we are missed! Help us to be good and faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name, we pray. Amen.