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The second in our series of Lent devotions.

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time, she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. ... All the widows stood around [Peter], crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ She opened her eyes and, seeing Peter, she sat up.” - Acts 9:36-7, 39-40

At the church I attended as a child, the pastor’s wife was named Dorcas. She is the only Dorcas I have ever known. My memory of her is much like the woman described in Acts 9. She was very dedicated to the youth in our church — including my three brothers. She considered them all her children, and I remember that she often opened her home to them.

In our Scripture, we read that the Dorcas that Peter knew was a disciple full of love for Jesus. She showed that love to the widows in her community by sewing clothes for them. She was a humble example of how you can use your talents to serve God by providing for the needs of others.

Each of us has been given talents and abilities that we can use to serve. For example, I have a personal passion for the homeless. Many of those who live on the street suffer from mental illnesses, and I know firsthand what pain that can cause. My father suffered from a mental illness for over 40 years. My mother was a faithful, giving wife, and my father always had a home, but for many of the mentally ill, that is not the case.

When I travel to Atlanta for work, I try to have many dollar bills on me, along with a tract that tells about God’s love. When homeless people approach me, I can offer them hope. The opportunity to bring hope is also why I give to Habitat for Humanity from each paycheck. Habitat’s first mission principle is to demonstrate the love of God in action. Dorcas shows us clearly that we can do that in specific ways, according to the gifts we have been given.

During this season of Lent, let us follow the example of Dorcas as we focus on the kind of “agape” love that calls us to act selflessly for the well-being of others.

Prayer

Dear Lord, make us mindful of the gifts You have given to us and the passions that You have placed on our hearts to help others. Help us to be faithful in serving You. Let us open our hearts to reach out to those who do not know You. Amen.

Read more of our Lent devotions here.

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