Tues., May 1, 2018
Luke 24:11 –But the story sounded like a fairy tale to the men—they didn’t believe it.
I love a great historical fiction story. Cue the music for … “Call the Midwife.”
“Call the Midwife” is a historical fiction television story set in England. The show was initially inspired by the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth. In them, she tells colorful stories of families and midwifery in London’s East End. The show follows the nurses, midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, who assist the poor expectant mothers of Poplar. We learn more about these women and their interactions within their tight-knit community.
I stumbled upon this PBS show a few years back. Having missed a couple seasons, I checked out DVD’s from the library and caught up. As the seasons move from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, we see how medicine changed: increased emphasis on prenatal care, gas used to ease pain and the importance of cleanliness. We also see glimpses of other culture changes: the availability of television, understanding alcohol addiction and teaching teenaged girls how their bodies change.
Tonight, I watched this week’s episode; a heart-wrenching story about midwife Barbara who happens to be married to the popular local clergy curator, Reverend Tom. Barbara contracts septic meningitis with fatal results. A freshly married young couple, Reverend Tom sits at the bedside of his ailing wife in the very same hospital where he has sat with so many other people and families.
In the last few years, historical fiction has truly become one of my favorite genres. I find it fascinating to rediscover the culture and challenges people of a different era experienced. While specific problems maybe different from what we experience today, it is easy to trace similar threads to the present.
After watching the episode, my thoughts turned to what is my favorite historical fiction story. While there are many possibilities, the choice is easy. My favorite historical book is none other than the Bible. It’s a trick question because I do not believe the Bible is fiction. I believe the story as true. While I cannot explain everything the Bible portrays, I choose to see God’s hand in all that happens in this story. I get to be part of the story today.
Many, many people have read the Bible or heard the story of Jesus and thought, “This can’t be true. It must be a fairy tale.” When the disciples arrive at the tomb on Easter morning, one version of the Bible portrays the disciples as contemplating the resurrection as a fairy tale.
Whether I can fully explain and grasp the depth of the stories found in the Old and New Testaments, I choose whether I allow these stories to become part of my story. Will they affect how I live my life and the choices I make?
The story of Reverend Tom and Barbara grabbed my attention. Life is very precious. It can change literally in an instant. Life’s delicacy says each day truly is a gift. Did I live today like the present it is?
This storyline is one I pray we have heard before. Long time ago, a theologian said that most of the time, we know the right choices, decisions and priorities. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of them. This is what “Call the Midwife” did for me today. This is what the story of the Bible should do for us every day.
For this, I am grateful.
Thank you for being the master story teller, Almighty God. For using words and images and people to help me learn about you. Thank you for including me as part of your story. May I see today as a very special gift that I use to honor your story in my life. Amen.
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