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.