Life is filled with unsung heroes — people that you will never hear of or from. They are like the kidneys — you don’t do anything with them or hear from them until they stop doing what they are supposed to do. Nobody compliments the kidney for its beauty nor its shape. But the kidney becomes a big part of the conversation when it stops working. That is the life of unsung heroes — only noticed when they don’t do their bit. Just like the kidneys, we take unsung heroes for granted until they leave the scene.
Let me introduces you to one of those unsung heroes in the Bible. She is rarely talked about or used as an example. We know more about what happened to her rather than who she was and her contribution to the community that she was an important part of. Let me tell you about Dorcas. Her story is documented as thus:
Acts 9:36–40 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
The summary simple — a good woman died, and the people wanted her back alive. As such they put their faith on the line and called for the Chief Apostle to come and pray. The outcome was out of their hands, but they had to at least make an effort. This is what I garnered from the story:
- Dorcas ministered to people that could not even reward her. She did good because it was a good thing to do. Dorcas did not give to the widows so that they would call for the Apostles when she passed on. Passing on was not part of her agenda. Though it might sound rhetorical, but it is good to state that because in today’s messages it seems we give so that on our day of need people will give to us. God has promised to help and be with us. That is enough for our comfort and faith. When in need, please call unto to God for He is an ever-present help even in time of need.
- Verse 36 described Dorcas is described as “a disciple.” She was not just a new convert who accepted Jesus. Thank God for new converts but Dorcas went to another level — she was a disciple. A disciple is someone that accepts the discipline of Jesus Christ. A disciple walks in the dictates of God, acknowledges and submits to the authority of Jesus Christ, walks in the way of the Lord and submits to His rule. So, she was in this Christian thing with her all. That was no mean feat in her times. Being a Christian was as good as being seen to oppose the state. You could be killed for that.
- The people acted in faith. They could have just contributed funds for her burial. That could have been good enough. But they chose to send for Peter. I am sure they have heard stories of the wonder-working power of God in the life of the disciples. They rather tap into it than give up hope because hope springs eternal. That was the heavenly thing to do. And that, they did. They sent for the Apostles. Thankfully, God heard the prayers of Peter and Dorcas was raised back to life.
- Dorcas was a woman of faith. The Bible records that this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds. She did it because God commands it. It takes faith to do good works. It takes faith to stay on that path. I am sure some of those she did good works unto might have disappointed her and were at times evil towards her. But she kept at it. She did what she was graced for; giving.
- Peter acted. Peter hearing about the dire situation had faith enough to go and pray for the dead Dorcas. The people had faith to call upon Peter. Peter had faith to come. It takes faith to see the miraculous at work.
- It took everyone doing their part to bring about this great miracle. The disciple had faith enough to send for the Apostle. The widows were appreciative enough to stir up compelling reasons and compassion in Peter’s heart. Peter stepped up in faith and prayed to the Father. And voila — a miracle happened. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:16 “From whom the whole body (the body of Christ) fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth … maketh increase of the body”
Dorcas ministered to both the Lord and the saints. She lived an exemplary life. She was a community builder and someone who made it easy for others to believe in Jesus Christ. She was not seeking any award when she rendered her service. She was a servant who wanted to play her part so that one day this gospel will be transmitted to you and me. Do you see why she is a hero?
Dear Christian, please do your part in godliness. The outcome of what you do for the Lord’s sake is not for you to determine. Be blessed.