Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sew-What? by Linda Maynard

We are exploring what livelihood that we would have like to have practiced, if we lived in Biblical Times.

Immediately I thought, I would want to be an artisan. 

That said…we can have 2 jobs, right???

I remembered a quiet and noble occupation. It is being seamstress. A woman in Acts 9, by the name of Dorcas/Tabitha was one.( Dorcas was her Jewish name and Tabitha was her Greek name. They both meant gazelle.)

The fact that she is mentioned is monumental, because a woman living in those times, were not noted often.

Her occupation is one thing but an amazing miracle in her life is another.

We will look at both. 

Pondering the seamstress part, some fond memories of my own mother come to light.

My mom was a Seamstress. 

Assuredly, my mom would object to that title and say something like, “I just sew…I am not a seamstress.”

Au contraire…

Most of her working experience was doing the job of a seamstress.

As a young woman, she worked at a mattress factory. Her and my Aunt Jean came up with an ingenious way to use the leftover material in the factory. They made slippers. The boss allowed them to use the “scraps” and in that, it helped families during the Depression.

Next, when her children were older, she was as a seamstress in a Coat Factory. Once a season, we were allowed to go into the factory and choose a new coat, at a much reduced price. 
Having something brand new was awesome. I was so proud of her.

When I became a Girl Scout, she helped me with my first sewing project.  It was a beach bag, complete with grommets.

To further my instruction, I learned how to choose a clothing pattern, the suitable material and notions. She patiently showed me how to pin a pattern onto the cloth and cut it successfully. It was then ready to sew into a garment.

Most of her sewing included mending. It could seem mindless on the outside, but was useful in the economic times.

She took an Adult School class and made a slipcover for our sofa. I was pretty amazed.

One part of sewing that she also showed me is hand sewing. Whether it is sewing hems, doing repairs, sewing on buttons or even embroidery (which is really fancy hand sewn stitches)…it is not a chore for me, but it brings me relaxation and peace. I think of hand sewing as a Gentle Art.

So, Dorcas was one who sewed.

We can be sure she didn’t have a computerized sewing machine but did hand sewing. I even read about her being referred to as the “Queen of the Needle”.

 The other thing about Dorcas is that she reached out to others and was well loved because of her giving and loving nature.

My mom was the same.

When Dorcas actually dies, those who loved her, are grieving about losing her. They even send for Peter to come to Joppa.

I wonder.

Did they call him to pray over her body, as a benediction or ritual? Where they even expecting the miracle of her being raised from the dead? Or just a crying out seeped in hopelessness?.

Think one minute with me, about someone very dear to you who has died. You call your Pastor, thinking he/she will provide prayer and comfort. They come and send everyone out of the room and pray for your loved one. 

(In those days and even now in eastern countries, people are loud when they grieve. They are not hushed up. There is no “NO-LOUD GRIEVING POLICE” to stare or tsk-tsk at people.)

Her friends must have been making a lot of noise. So the fact that Peter sent them out may have been as simple as him saying to himself “I can’t think straight with all of this noise!!” 

A short time later, with a big smile on his face, he opens the door and says “Friends come in and see your Tabitha sitting up. Someone get her a glass of water. Your mourning has turned to joy.”

It doesn’t say it, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to think they yelled loud  and made a “joyful noise”.

I like that Dorcas is a seamstress. I like that she is a giver and a compassionate woman. Her occupation seems to go beyond making the buck.

AND…who knew? She would be raised from the dead!!! 

I’ll be in the front of the line if God wants to raise me from the dead because He has more for me to do. 

I also am right there and willing to pray for another to be raised up from the dead.


What about you? 

Are you up for praying for the dead?

Are you believing that you could be raised?

1 comment:

Kerry Luddy said...

Thank you for shining a light on a woman from the Bible that few people probably think about, and for the personal story of your seamstress mom.