When Truth and Grace Collide

Every week on the show “Call the Midwife” I watch truth and grace collide. And I cry.

For those who know the show, I think you’ll understand. For those who don’t – you’ll have to trust me on this one. The show is based on the memoir of a midwife and takes place in the 1950’s in London’s East End, an impoverished area of the city where babies are birthed and life happens raw. Flats are small and crowded with kids, husbands are dock workers, and wives share walls with other wives, everyone in each other’s business. Into this landscape come a group of nuns and young midwives on bicycles, going into homes to birth babies, check up on mums, and sit with the weeping and rejoicing.

The nuns have their complines after their evening meals and their standards. They love God and they love people. They disagree with abortion, infidelity, abuse and neglect. But when those things come their way, which they do in every episode, they meet the issue with grace and common sense.

The viewer never feels like these nuns are giving up their standards; never feels like they are not living true to their values. Instead, you feel buoyed by their strong faith, enabling them to walk into the worst of situations and with a silent prayer do what they need to do. If it’s finding a home for a baby whose father finds out he’s not the real father, they do it. If it’s helping a young woman who has tried a self-induced abortion and is dying from bleeding, they help to ensure her safety. If it’s protecting someone from an abusive husband, they protect. If they lived in the 1990’s they could, without hypocrisy wear the WWJD bracelet….only they wouldn’t because if you’re living it, you don’t need to wear it.

In “Call the Midwife” – Truth and Grace collide and the result is astonishing. People are changed, healed, comforted, but above all loved.

Truth and Grace

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33 thoughts on “When Truth and Grace Collide

  1. Call the Midwife is the best TV show I have ever watched in my life. I love it, for the reasons you laid out here– and every episode makes me weep about being a human in a beautiful but broken world, and the love and grace that surrounds us.


  2. Well, thank you very much and now I guess I’ll get nothing done until I finish every episode. I had to go see what all the fuss was about because Call the Midwife sounded like a show I would love. You pusher, you. And I’m with your mom. I need the book too!


  3. Marilyn,
    until now I have not heard of this show, maybe you kindly share what channel and time the show airs. Love the photo with verse. How was your Easter? I hope you experienced God’s love and grace while celebrating Easter.


  4. that’s exactly what i love about it too! my girls introduced me to this show over christmas and i’ve been trying to figure out how to see more episodes ever since (and to find someone who can appreciate it with me! so far mike’s not very enthusiastic…) but i’m going to the states next month and will get my fill. break out the tissues!


    1. What??? MIke needs to get on board :) A lot of men I know like it. In fact, we first heard about it from a man. I can see how getting episodes would be tough. Every time I have to bring out tissues.


  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show! It always touches my heart. I pray that when truth and grace collide, that I can be His truth shining in tough places. I don’t always do it well…..but I continue to try to shine for Him in daily life….in the hard places. Thanks for your post!!!!


  6. Oh, my…I think I would LOVE this show! Is it available on Netflix? I’ll have to look for it. We haven’t had regular TV hook-up or cable for many years. Thanks for the recommendation, and thank you for the reminder to boldly extend grace and truth in love.


    1. Mandy – Though we barely know each other – and online at that I can safely say you will love it. Just watched the most recent episode last night. Look at Ariana’s comment above – that says it all!


      1. Oh, my…my husband and I just saw that one last night! (It’s episode #3.) What a beautiful story of grace, forgiveness, acceptance, and LOVE!


      2. Marilyn, let’s see how long we can go back and forth on this. :-) I wasn’t planning to respond again, but then in doing my midday prayers and readings a few minutes ago, I read Psalm 85:10 “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” It immediately made me think of you and this post…and I just had to share! :-)


      3. Oh I love this so much. Is forgotten that verse but the imagery of connection and intimacy that the two share is so powerful. What episode are “we” on now??:)


  7. So glad this amazing series has reached the States. One of my best friends did her midwifery in Glasgow in the early 60s and says it was just like that when they went to home deliveries.
    It is also wonderful to see how at least in the early days, how amazing it was that there was such good, loving care that cost nothing at the point of use.
    Jenny came to faith during her time with these amazing Anglican nursing sisters.


  8. Love, love, love this show!! It never fails to touch me in some way and I think it is fascinating to see the genesis of so many health practices we have today and the diseases (cystic fibrosis!) that were known but for which there was no name. Great post, Marilyn! I really should get the book…….


    1. I agree – that’s another really interesting thing about the show. One of the things I find humorous is the smoking :) Doctor smoking in the office with little babies around….completely accurate but hard to imagine.


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