Have you ever wondered what people will remember about you after you are gone? I don’t mean to get the week started on a morbid foot, but today’s verse (Acts 9:39) has my curiosity stirred up. Peter was in Joppa where a follower of Jesus named Dorcas (or Tabitha) lived. She had just passed away and the community was in distress over losing her. In verse 36 of that chapter, we are told that she did many good things and showed great kindness to others. In fact, when Peter entered into the room where she was laid, the widows immediately began to show him the clothing Dorcas had made for them. She practiced the discipline of service to others and the people who knew her mourned the loss of her in their lives.
So, I ask the question again. What do you think others will remember about you after you are gone?
Through Jesus’ power, Peter was able to raise Dorcas from the dead. I love the New Living Version of the end of verse 41: “He gave her to them, a living person.” I bet they received her back as one of the sweetest gifts God had given them.
Service is not easy and it’s rarely convenient. If we work service into our schedule, we may be doing good things, but are we truly serving? Service comes from hearing the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit to enter into the work He is doing. In order to be that attuned to the Spirit, we need to know how to quietly listen, and in that listening silence is where we are refueled for the service we are called to.
All of the spiritual disciplines we’ve looked at this year really do connect and overlap, building a foundation that changes us. Silence seems to be crucial in this process. Mama Maggie Gobran is a Coptic Christian and founder of Stephen’s Children. She is a 2020 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. These are her words on how to listen to God:
“Silence your body to listen to words
Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts
Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating
Silence your heart to listen to your spirit
Silence your spirit to listen to His Spirit
In silence, you leave many to be with the One.”
May each of us leave the many to be with the One today.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach