I recently started watching the popular Netflix series Call the Midwife. I am new to binge watching but must admit I now get it and I’m thankful to have something to fill the empty evenings without my late hubby. For the most part I quickly forget most of the episodes I watch. I’ve always been one of those people who can’t remember watching a movie or anything about it. My hubby Lawrence and I had many lighthearted disagreements when he would try to tell me that we had seen a movie already and I was very adamant that I had never watched it. That is until just about half way through when I would realize it actually did seem very familiar and finally have to admit that just maybe I had seen it before. Lawrence would laugh every time and say I tried to tell you.
But once in awhile some movie or television episode I watch does make a lasting impression and that is just what happened with a recent episode of Call the Midwife. I’m always amazed at how God speaks to us through every day ordinary life often when we least expect it. Never before have I experienced this more than walking through the profound grief and heartache of losing my husband. I’m so grateful that He doesn’t require us to get all dressed up spiritually to meet with Him but He comes to us no matter how deep our pit of despair.
In this particular episode Jenny is going away to mourn the loss of her boyfriend Alec after he dies from the result of an accidental fall off a ladder. It was hard to watch as the memories and feelings of Lawrence’s death were stirred. It seems that I have seen more death scenes in the past 15 months than in my lifetime but more likely it is because of the impact they have on me. I grieved with her as she tried to make sense of something that the human mind can’t fully embrace. Accept death yes, understand it, no. Jenny had made the decision to leave Nonnatus House to mourn. Oh how many times have I thought if I could only go away. Sadly the pain and sorrow would go with me and I would find it there as I unpacked. You can’t run away from grief; you can only walk through it.
As the other midwives, sisters and friends were all assembled to bid Jenny a tearful goodbye, Mrs. Rubin reached out to Jenny with these words. “You will feel better than this. Not just now, but you will. Just keep living until you are alive again.” Wow. I felt like God was right there filing the void with comfort and hope, speaking words I needed to hear.
Luke 21:19 puts it this way, By your endurance you will gain your lives.
If you are going to live again this is your only choice, to live even when you don’t feel alive. We take one step at a time, holding God’s hand so tight that it melts into his and we can feel His strength giving us the ability to keep going forward without falling down. And then one day, for a short moment there is a sign of life. Maybe it comes as laughter that has not surfaced for a very long time or maybe just a simple smile. As we continue to move forward the moments turn into hours and give us hope that someday we might feel alive for a whole day. In the meantime we keep living, and living, and living because we know that God promises us life.
John 16:20 says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.
We will be alive again.