Tabitha, the Gazelle of Joppa, wove from the strands of love garments for the widows – bright tunics for those who had lost everything. The colors leapt. They brought joy to cloudy eyes and hope to hearts wrung out with pain. Raiment made by Tabitha straightened the bent spine with honor restored. “I’m somebody,” the wearer said, and began to gift the community with her own, rediscovered talents.
When the Gazelle grew still and cold before her time, Peter came and prayed. This was his simple gift, sprouted in that time when Jesus helped him back from the dark kingdom of hopelessness. (As you remember, his Master made him profess his love three times.)
After he had prayed, Peter made a simple request. “Tabitha, get up,” he said. And she did.
The unique gifts of the heart we each can offer – the little things, like shiny pebbles from the beach – sometimes become bus tickets back to the world of worthiness from the bleak realm of despair. Sometimes they bring life itself, to giver and receiver. Offer them to someone you do not know. Give them away freely, never looking for reward. There is nothing too small or too ordinary. The trick is simply to pass your treasure along hand to hand, letting a bit of your flesh touch the skin of the other.
Laurie Gudim is a religious iconographer and writer living in Fort Collins, Colorado. For more information and to see some of her images, visit everydaymysteries.com.