A Real Live Dorcas

“…she was always doing good and helping the poor…” (Acts 9:36)

For eight decades plus seven years, she blessed many with her life, laugh, and especially her cooking! She welcomed me into her inner circle over 50 years ago when I was only 11 years old. Following the divorce of my parents, her husband, Doug invited me to go fishing and a lifetime of love investment began. I sat with them in church, their son became my “little brother,” and my life was shaped, challenged and modeled by their sensitive encouragement along the way. My oldest son, Jonathan bears his middle name proudly, Douglas.

The last time I saw her, I remembered her asking, “Now, how old were you when we got you?” You see, she really made me part of her family. My children always knew her as “Granny C.” Now, in a few hours I will preach at her memorial service. My heart is heavy and sadness looms ever so closely, except for those moments when her husband, son, extended family (of which I am part), and friends remember fondly her personality and acts of service. She was really a walking, breathing, really living, “Dorcas!”

If you remember the story in Acts 9, there was a woman whose Jewish name was Tabitha, but her Greek name was Dorcas. As a follower of Christ, she was known for always doing good things and helping the poor. When she passed, it rocked the Christian community around Joppa. When Simon Peter arrived on the scene, he was greeted by weeping widows of the Christian church showing him robes and other clothing Dorcas had made for them. The story has a great ending as she was raised from the dead and was presented to the very ones her life of service had touched. Because of this miracle, many began to follow Christ.

When I think of my “Dorcas,” I remember her love for Jesus. Her quiet faith never quaked as far as I have known. Her service to Christ touched not only my life but countless others in the places where they have lived over the years. She served as church hostess on more than one occasion and always made sure the elderly in our church had plenty to eat at church socials.

Like Dorcas, her “doing good and helping the poor” touched me at my greatest need. I was just one of the “poor” she did good to…my heart as a child was bankrupt and broken. She and her family came and rescued me! As I write this, I find myself weeping like the widows did in Dorcas’ day revealing to you how she blessed my life. Thank the Lord for “doers of good!” Without them in our midst, we would all remain poor!

Sadly, this last week, she became sick and died, as did Dorcas years ago. It’s a fate, barring the second coming of Jesus, that we all must face. And, yes…just like Dorcas, one day she will rise, all because of what Christ has done and promised. I’m just thinking how wonderful it was when Francis Cochran opened her eyes in heaven and saw Jesus face to face. It must have been quite a moment! She’s there now with my “first mom” and of course, Dorcas, too. I can just imagine Dorcas saying, “Frances, I have the clothes and robes covered!” To which her reply flowed, “Great! I’ll handle the fudge and bread!” Oh, what I would give today for one more batch of her fudge and rolls…and one more hug! But that will have to wait for another day…a glorious day!

You are bound to have someone just like this in your life today. Hug her and express how much you love her before time slips away!

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