How Far Will He Run?

We recently watched all the episodes of Call the Midwife. This is a period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The series was created by Heidi Thomas, originally based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth who worked with the Community of St. John the Divine, an Anglican religious order, at their convent in the East End in London.

The series follows the midwives as they help to deliver babies in the most difficult of situations, usually within the home. They faced filthy conditions and worse, angry if not dangerous family members, the most minimal of medical supplies and long, unpredictable schedules. They walked or rode bikes to see the mothers. They lived in the building where the clinic was located so they really were never away from their jobs.

I understand this is only a television show and thus scripted with an agenda. However, it was amazing to see all that these midwives were willing to do for the mothers despite the challenges. They had a heart for these women and their families. The midwives were committed to doing whatever necessary to assure the safest delivery that could be provided and also the needed aftercare.

One of the episodes involved a pregnant wife and her husband. He was older than her and appeared to be more educated and sophisticated. But, oh, how he loved her and the baby inside of her. She, on the other hand, presented as feeling unworthy of all the love and attention.

Shortly after the child was born, she left the child at the police station and disappeared. She had returned to her former life from which she had been rescued by her husband: the life of a prostitute.

And what did the husband do? He sought her out and again brought her into his home. He loved her and knew she needed the life he offered her including to help raise the newborn.

I think how many times God has done the same thing for me. He gave me entrance into his home through the death of Jesus. I was unworthy and my life full of selfishness. I did not deserve his love and yet he freely gave me what I could never earn by Jesus’ paying for all of my sins.

And how do I respond? I can easily fall back into my old life of willful, selfish sinning. I forget all the love God showed me and choose to do things my way. My actions reveal the part of me I refuse to entrust to his care.

God’s response–Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10. He still loves me. God loves me because of who he is and not by how I respond. And that love is endless. 

This reminds me of the parable of the prodigal son. In Luke 15, Jesus teaches about the younger of two sons who takes his inheritance and goes off to waste it all. Finding his life unbearable, the son returned to his father and begged for his forgiveness. The father not only forgave but celebrated his return.

I have always focused on that younger son with whom I can relate. But the longer I am around, the more I realize the focus needs to be on the Father’s love that never gave up. My focus on the ever-present sin in my life can have a normalizing effect. I can rationalize it will always be there so why not just accept it.

When I focus on God’s never-ending love for me, I have reason to change. His love does not change based on how I treat him. When he sent Jesus to die for me, it was in spite of him knowing I would continue in my sin. There is nothing he will not do to bring me back to him after I stray.

In the parable, the father ran to greet his returning son. There is no limit to how far God will go for me. How far am I willing to go to change for him?

Thanks for reading this. Hope you come back. I will wait you.

The following is a song that was released by Benny Hester in 1978. Strangely enough, that was the year my active alcoholism took off. Coincidence? I do not believe in them.



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