Acts 9:36 “Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.”
Tabitha is a woman mentioned once in the New Testament in a story that had far more to do with Peter and the gospel than with her. Her story is told in Acts 9: 36-42, beginning with her death. Peter comes to her and by the power of the Holy Spirit, brings her back to life. As a result of this miracle, verse 42 says “many believed in the Lord.”
So what can we take away from this story, as women? What was Tabitha known for? Women can be know for a myriad of things: the number of children they have, who they are married to, whether or not they work outside the home, whether or not they home school their kids, what kind of service they are involved in at church, their parenting ideas, the way they dress, their manner of speech, how clean their house is kept. All of these things are important aspects of a woman’s life but none of these are mentioned in the brief description given to Tabitha in these verses. Instead, she is known for “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.”
Wow! There are some strong words in that phrase! I don’t know if Tabitha was married or single, if she had children or if she had a job, if she was beautiful or if she was plain. But I do know that she was kind – kind to the extent that her kindness abounded to the point that it was continual. This kind of kindness is not accidental or unintentional. This kind of kindness must have permeated every aspect of her life. She would have always been prepared with a kind word to say to or about someone. This in of itself is hard enough for women who are easily prone towards gossip and would much rather discuss the possibles sins or indiscretions of people than offer kind and true words.
But it was more than just her words, Tabitha’s deeds were continually kind as well. She was thoughtful and caring in everything she did. Her charity was well known throughout the poor. People looked at her and thought, “There is a kind woman.” What a fabulous way to be known! Far better than, “There is a women who only wears dresses” or “There is the wife of one of our elders” or “There is a women who chose not to home school her kids.”
What are some ideas of ways that we can show kindness this week? What are some things that you want to be known for and how to you propose to live your life in order for this to come about?