A clergy colleague and I were talking the other day. She was feeling pretty worn out with trying to pastor during the pandemic that never seems to end. She asked me what I do to spiritually renew. She said she already knew about the typical answers of prayer, healthy eating, rest, and exercise. They weren’t working for her anymore. Did I have anything else to suggest?
I thought about it for a few minutes and then gave her a rather unusual suggestion. I recommended a TV show that I’ve recently discovered entitled, “Call the Midwife.” This British television drama is about the lives of a group of midwives who care for expectant mothers in the East End of London during the late 1950s and 1960s. The midwives work for a convent of Anglican sisters who are also trained in midwifery. Together the sisters midwives and their secular midwife colleagues provide a number of nursing and medical services to a very impoverished part of London, but the majority of their work is in providing safe births to the roughly 100 babies born each month. The show is based on Jennifer Worth’s best-selling memoirs about her midwifery years working for an actually convent in the east end of London during this same time period.
What inspires me about this show and what nurtures my soul is the selfless, tireless love all of these midwives offer the women, children and families in these poor neighborhoods. Equally inspiring is the way neighbors look out for one another. Then there are the sisters. Each of them is wholly committed to the Lord but in very unique ways that fit their personalities. They are each tenderhearted but human. They make mistakes, repent, find forgiveness and try again to please God. At the end of the day they gather to sing God’s praises and to remind one another that their lives belong to God. “Call the Midwife” reminds me of what Christian community is meant to be and inspires me to be just a little kinder and just a little more attentive to God each day.
I do recommend “Call the Midwife” with one caveat. This is a show that centers around the birthing of babies. If you are squeamish about childbirth this may not be the show for you. On the other hand, after watching lots and lots of babies born, childbirth may take on a whole new wonder for you! You can watch the 11 seasons of “Call the Midwife” on Netflix, PBS, Amazon prime or itunes. There is a fee for all of these services. I think it’s worth it.
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