Our DNA molecule is awesome in power and beautiful in design as it rules biological life from the nucleus of every cell in the human body by two strands twisting around each other to form a double helix which looks like a twisting ladder held together by rungs formed out of combinations of 4 nitrogenous base pairs – which is the code that instructs the building of protein to form the building stones of flesh and bone. From these costly stones a body is knit into a breathing, mindful soul which cries with her stones, ‘There’s a hole in my soul and its a real big place!’
There is also another ladder. The one Jacob saw in his dream set up on earth. The top of the ladder reached to heaven and he saw angels of God ascending and descending on it. The Lord stood above it and said to him I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. He then made a promise to Jacob that the land on which he lay would be given to him and his seed, that his seed shall spread abroad as the dust of the earth so that all the families of the earth shall be blessed. I will be with you wherever you go and I will bring you again into this land. I will not leave you until I have done this. And Jacob woke up and called that place the house of God. (Gen 28:12-
In search of that meeting point between Jacob’s spiritual ladder and our twisting double helix ladder, I read about a woman who needed two names to describe the change that happened to her soul.
There was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation was called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and deeds. And it came to pass in those days that she was sick and died. They washed her and laid her on a bed in an upper chamber. And then sent two men to Peter, begging him to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper chamber where all the widows stood by weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made while she was still with them. But Peter pushed it away and kneeled down and prayed : and then turned to her body and said, ‘Tabitha arise.’ And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up and called the widows, and presented her alive. And it was known throughout Joppa and many believed. 2)
Tabitha means beautiful gazelle and I think it described the way her work as a maker of garments and coats made her shine in the light of her friends’ praises. 3) Her name was then re-interpreted to Dorcas – after the dorcas gazelles – to describe her soul’s thirst for life giving streams in the dry river beds. Like a deer in a dry and weary land, work no longer satisfied the new longing in her. She yearned to walk in the light of her Lord who gave himself on the cross for her. Forgiven and freed from a mindset of work, her soul became a pool and her thirsty land turned into living springs as the Spirit of Christ poured into her being to awake her spirit alive. 5)
Visualizing her transformation from Tabitha to Dorcas 6 ) I used the form of a teapot and combined her hollow teapot belly soul with the pity God took on her by giving himself in Christ for her to impart the gift of his eternal Spirit to her so that she could be filled, satisfied and whole in his presence for ever and ever.
- Strong’s Greek concordance, 5590, breath i.e. (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished from the rational immortal soul.
- Acts 9:36-43
- Strong’s Concordance, 5000, Tabitha: gazelle Hebrew root is 6646: a female gazelle to be compared with 6638 in the sense of prominence, splendor and beautiful as a gazelle.
- Strong’s Concordance, 1393, Dorcas: gazelle, a Christian woman
- Isaiah 35:7 And the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water. John 4:14 But whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
- 2 Cor 5:17-18 Therefore if you are in Christ, you are a new creature: old things have passed away and all things have become new. And all things are from God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.
- Rev 22:16 I, Jesus, I am the root and the offspring (=shoot) of David, and the bright morning star