Thursday, March 08, 2007

If only I was Dorcas

The FW topic last week was "sewing". This was my entry and it came second in the Editor's Choice. That means that it will be published in one of their anthologies! I am somewhat delighted and over the moon!

If only I was Dorcas

Let’s suppose I died today.

It wasn’t a long drawn out affair of gasping breaths and whispered words. It wasn’t so swift and surprising like a car accident, that I had no time to prepare. I just became ill and didn’t get better. At the end it was like turning off the lights and gently closing the door to this life and falling to sleep. It was a good death.

Let’s suppose that I am tucked in my coffin.

One would hope that I am wearing my best blue dress. It brings out the blue flecks in my eyes, not that you can tell. I was never one for wearing much make-up so I hope that it is a natural look, not too heavy on the lip stick. I had hoped to touch up the roots on my hair, but never mind.

I hope that the conversation isn’t too solemn and hushed. I don’t mind a few jokes or some carefully chosen cheerful anecdotes of the things I had done. By all means, wear black if you feel you have to, but try to smile even just a little. I have gone to a better place remember!

Let’s suppose that in the next town, not too many miles away, is a church leader.

He had been given the keys to the kingdom. The Spirit of God rests upon him powerfully. He reaches down to the lame, pulls them to their feet and dances with them into the church. When he is arrested for preaching the gospel, an angel is dispatched to unlock the doors and sent him on his way. Some say that this man, this church leader, has even walked on water.

Do you send for the man?

If my name was Dorcas, you would have gone to the nearby town to urge him to come at once. She was a disciple who was always doing good and helping the poor.

If I was Dorcas, you would have taken him up to the room where I lay and shown him the clothes that I had made. There might have been a wonderful wedding dress that I had carefully sewn together. As I worked in the light of a candle, I would have been praying for the bride-to-be. I would have prayed for a fruitful married life, for fulfilment and harmony, for children and for laughter. Perhaps you show him a simple strong shirt of a working man. It’s nothing dainty or fragile, but fit for the fields and fighting against thistles. As I sewed the seams I would pray that he would be strong to fight the thorns of injustice in the village where he lived.

When you sent for the man, did you expect a noble tribute spoken at my graveside? Did you entertain the possibility of his turning you out of the room, taking me by the hand and commanding me to awaken?

You see, the community could not function without Dorcas. She had an essential contribution to make that they just couldn’t do without her. There was no understudy waiting in the wings to say her lines, no one to pick up the mantle she dropped. She was irreplaceable so God restored her to her church.

I am not Dorcas. I am not dead yet, but if I was, and if there was such a man in the nearby town, would you call him? Is there anything you could show him about what I have done that was good and helped the poor? There are no wedding dresses, no simple strong shirts that I have made and given away. What can you show him, what evidence can you provide that I have an essential contribution to make? Can you persuade him that I am irreplaceable?

I cannot be Dorcas. I can only be me. Is it enough?

Inspired by Acts 9:36-42

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