May 12, 2019
Text: Acts 9:36-43 Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, 'Please come to us without delay.' So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, 'Tabitha, get up.' Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.
Last month, a friend of mine passed away. His name was Bernard Williams, a regular at the Potter's House and a wandering philosopher. Bernard and I met years ago, probably around 2012, at a cafe on 18th street. He overheard me and a friend talking about philosophy and theology and he interjected, "You like Gilles Deleuze, too? He's a great thinker… yada yada yada." And on he went. Bernard was brilliant beyond comparison. He could talk circles around anyone on topics such as art and film, contemporary philosophy, race theory, jazz, and much more. Thereafter, I would run into Bernard around Adams-Morgan--at Potter's House, at Tryst, outside of McDonalds, near a bus stop--with books in hand and ready to talk about his latest interests and thoughts. After a while, he would stop by The Festival Center from time to time and we'd chat for as long as time allowed. Our conversations would meander from philosophy to personal reflection to politics and back again. Bernard was not wealthy or famous. He experienced homelessness, alienation from his family, and had suffered from paranoid schizophrenia since his early 20s.