Friday, September 30, 2011

Women of the Bible Encouragement Series: Dorcas ~ Expect A Miracle

            Welcome back folks! Yesterday, I jumped in my trusty Biblical Time Machine (BTM), turned the dial to "35 A. D.," and zoomed to meet today's guest and bring her here. It was quite a journey. 
            Please welcome Dorcas. When I first saw her and spoke to her about coming today, she was seated at table in her adobe home, head bent over a a bright red scarf she was embroidering with gold thread. The minute she looked up, well-used smile lines crinkled her big brown eyes. I was charmed right down to my toes. And that accent! It's like a blend of Jewish and Greek. So intriguing!
            When I thought on the upcoming interview, the question trotted across my mind: “What were Dorcas’s last thoughts?” Rather, “What were her FIRST last thoughts?” 
            Hello Dorcas. I’m so honored to have this opportunity. You have no idea how I've looked forward to talking with you, so let me dive right in. When you died, did you know those final, mortal breaths of earthy air would be your last?
Oh, yes, Child. I had been sorely sick, delusional from fever in fact, but I did know for certain that I would not be lingering in this world for very long.
What were you feeling at that point? Did you have what some people refer to as dying grace?
I did not want to die, but I knew that very soon I was going to be face to face with the Christ, who gave up everything He could call His own to make provision for me to be with Him. It was very sobering, and at the same time joyful. 
Did you have regrets? Reasons you wished you could have lived longer?
There were so many things I still desired to do, people I’d not yet told about the wonderful works of Christ, projects accumulating in my sewing corner. I was very blessed to have another chance to make those things right.
            When you knew that death was close, did you question God? 
            Oh my, that is something I would rather not confess to. But yes, I did. I questioned His timing. I thought, ‘How can You take my life now? I have devoted my life to serving You and I am not done.’ 
Hadn’t you heard the story of Lazarus?
Oh, bless you! You make me laugh like a crow, as only an old woman can. Yes, I had heard the story. But it did not pass through my mind at the time. Jesus had already ascended to the Father. The Healer was now unseen. I was confronted with the aftermath of death every time I visited one of my husbandless friends. What right had I to hope for a miracle for myself?
            What happened when you were brought back to life?
 I heard Peter’s voice telling me to arise. In truth, it was more like being brought back to mortality than back to life. It was most strange, having my soul and spirit return into a body of clay, nearly suffocating when compared with the freedom I had felt in my Lord’s presence.
            What a disappointment it must have been, to have experienced the incandescently radiating presence of God, then be rushed back to the dinghy, mortal body you’d just left behind!
Oh, it was. After tasting the glory of the eternal, I laughed at myself for fearing Death's angel so and for clinging so hard to this tainted, pain-filled life. You cannot possibly know how piercing the separation is, once you’ve experienced Him face to face. Being there with him, it was as if I had finally been awakened from a bad dream, released to tirelessly worship my Beloved. He rejoiced over me with singing. Many were there with us, but His love was so focused, it felt as though He reserved His favor for me alone.
            Who was it that fetched Peter?
“You know, I am not sure? It seems so ungrateful of me now, but I never thought of that. I should have thanked her for having such great faith, but at the time I probably would have been tempted to give her a switching for bringing me back from Heaven.
            Her... So, it was possibly one of the women there? Some new widow, perhaps, with a fresh grief of her own?
Oh, yes. It is very possible. Most probable even. Her actions make it evident that when you feel you are at your lowest, you may be at your most effective for God. He may use the circumstance you view as being hopeless to be foundational building block for the unequaled masterpiece He is creating in your testimony.
What advice do you have for Christian writers today?
 When it seems the project into which you have poured your time, your effort, your very spirit, is fading away to insignificance, have faith. Expect a miracle. It’s never too late for God to move. He has brought you too far to abandon you now. He will lead you. His good name depends upon it. He specializes in hopeless situations. For heaven’s sake, look at me. I was DEAD.
          Many people believed because of the miracle God gave me. So, remember, the next time it appears that all your life is sinking about you, God could be gifting you with an impossible task that will bring the wonder of His miracle to you and countless souls to Him.
            One more question before we’re done, Tabitha. If you lived in our world today, what would you be doing with your life, your previous experiences in mind.
Ah… You give me a tough one. Well, you know I could never leave my sewing. And those new machines you all have are the best things since indoor plumbing. Truly. Indoor plumbing is a wonder.
As for a profession, I would probably be a nurse at a center for cancer treatment. So many are affected and it would be rewarding to help someone else have his or her second chance at life as well.
            Thank you so much, this has been an amazing interview. I promise you, I’ll never forget it.
It’s nothing, Child. Thank you for listening to an old woman’s ramblings and giving me cause to remember.

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Dorcas  is a devout woman from the New Testament who cherishes widows and uses her sewing talent for the Lord. She is also the only woman among nine people in the Bible to be specifically and individually called 'a disciple.' She makes her home in Joppa, (now known as Jaffa) near the Mediterranean shoreline southwest of Tel Aviv. This is how I imagine her.                      
   
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Natalie here. Sorry so long. I'll try to be more concise with the next one. I cut out a couple questions, but Dorcas's story was so gripping, I couldn't make myself take out anymore. Come back next Friday to meet Priscilla, wife of Aquila (Acts 18), who just happened to be our first suggestion. This suggestion was submitted by: Marilyn in Mississippi. Our guests are randomly selected from the suggestions list using Random.org.

            In celebration of our first post in the Encouragement From Women of the Bible series, I'm giving away a copy of Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty by Danna Gresh. It's the best I've read on practical, Biblical modesty geared toward young adults and women. Since Tabitha's occupation concerned clothing, I thought it was fitting. Winner will be announced in next Friday's post. For a chance to win, leave a comment telling how God has come through for you in the face of disaster. Let's praise Him a little. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so," Psalm 107:2





4 comments:

Dianne G. Sagan said...

Natalie,

What a wonderful way to learn from women of the Bible. I love the lessons we're given in the scriptures through the women we meet. I write about them, too, and it's like making friends with new mentors.

I bookmarked your blog so I can come back again and again,
Dianne

Natalie Monk said...

Thank you, Dianne. I'm learning so much even though I'm only one post into the series. It's humbling for me to find how much I really never knew about a character until I start digging deeper into the scriptures, but I'm enjoying the journey.

Thank you for the encouragement! :)

Natalie

Victoria Willard said...

Natalie,

I am really enjoying your posts! It is very encouraging to me to be able to picture even more so, those women that we've always read about. Keep up the good work!
In reference to your ending statement, I don't want to miss an opportunity to praise our Lord. There has been more times than I could count that he has literally saved my life. But a couple years ago, there came a very low time in my life.
It seemed that when I made two steps in the right direction..the devil made three against me. After months of battles, I had given up on any hope and had gotten to a low place that I (like many have said) would never get to...that "roaring lion" almost won. BUT God stepped in, as he has so many times in my defense. Though I'm so undeserving, God pulled me out of the dark pit that I had fell into and dusted me off. He put his arms around me and gave me peace, love, comfort, and healing unlike any other. What a blessing when we see those promising verses come to life. Its great to be a child of God!
...he'll never leave us nor forsake us!

Natalie Monk said...

Victoria: It's always amazing and so encouraging to see how God works in the lives of others. He has done great things! Thank you so much for sharing! :)