Did I say "dorks"? I meant to say "Dorcas". In Acts 9, there is this very kind woman named, Dorcas. Her name means, "Gazelle". (I thought her name was funny until I remembered that my name, Castor, means "beaver" in French. I like to remind people that actually "Castor" is a Roman god… but most people like to think of me as a beaver instead. I think it makes them feel more comfortable.)
Anyways, Dorcas had a great gift and amazing heart. She would make coats for people who needed them out of her sheer kindness. People seemed to love the coats and to love and respect Dorcas. The problem in Acts 9 is that Dorcas gets sick and dies. The whole town of Joppa is terribly distressed as a result.
Some believers heard that Peter was in a nearby village. They rushed to get him and begged him to come help. When Peter arrived, he noticed the mourners who had received coats from Dorcas during her lifetime. Peter saw the love this town had for this godly woman. At that moment, the Holy Spirit must have compelled Peter to kick everybody out of the room where the body of Dorcas had been laid. Once clear, Peter simply leaned over the body and said, "Dorcas, get up." And she did.
Joppa was turned inside out that day. The whole town believed in Jesus and his life-giving power. Because God cared for this kind-hearted woman, and because God cared for the people to whom she had ministered, the town of Joppa was given the opportunity to see God’s glory in action.
Another cool thing about this story is the passing focus on Peter. He isn’t the subject or star of this event. He plays a role, certainly, but its nothing more than a supporting role. Peter is merely an instrument in the symphony. Though he is the one God choses to perform his miracles, Peter is not the focus. God’s life-changing gift of powerful love is. And the whole town is transformed because of it.