Once upon a time there was a mother who held her baby tight…
A few weeks ago I allowed myself to get lost in the television series, Call The Midwife. Based on the true story of midwife, Jenny Lee, and set in the late 1950’s this popular TV show chronicles the life and times of the midwives who served the poorest district of post-war London.
The first episode from season one portrayed the story of Conchita Warren. Conchita and her husband were parents to twenty-four children. (Yes, you read that right…twenty-four children! Move over Duggar family.) When baby number twenty-five was found to be on the way the large family was thrilled.
Sadly, when Conchita experienced a hazardous fall the baby was born extremely premature. As midwife Jenny Lee delivered the baby at the Warren’s home everyone in the room believed he was dead. Placing the baby in a bowl on a nearby dresser, Jenny attended to Conchita’s needs. Several minutes passed, and then, suddenly, a tiny noise followed by a wondrous cry alerted everyone to the fact that the baby was indeed very much alive.
Jenny wrapped the baby in a blanket and tucked him securely in his mother’s arms. A physician was called to the Warren’s home and upon seeing both mother and baby, he determined the only way for the infant to survive was to take him to the hospital immediately.
In the late 1950’s the chances of a premature infant surviving outside of a hospital were slim to none. Even by today’s standards, premature babies are almost always attended under close watch and care in neo-natal units.
But not this baby. Despite both the doctor’s and Jenny Lee’s urgings, Conchita held her baby tight in her arms and defied the world to take him away.
As the midwives left the Warren’s home they discussed Conchita’s decision. “Now all we can do,” Sister Julienne said, “is watch what love will do.”
As a mom of two, I found this scene incredibly moving. A few days after watching this episode, on a Tuesday afternoon, I held my daughter in my arms and rocked her to sleep before naptime. With sleepy eyes she whispered, “I love you, Mommy,” and in that moment I knew I was living a miracle. A miracle of what her love does for me. A miracle of what my love does for her.
As I rocked my daughter I thought of Conchita, how she held that baby fierce, and I saw a picture of how God holds us.
There are so many things in this world that seem to offer something better. Something more nourishing, more efficient. A better way to live, a better way to care for our broken and dying places.
But what God knows, what we must know, is that nothing does for us what God’s love does for us. We are best off, we are right where we need to be, when we are held tight within His love.
Wrapped in His love, fed with His love, until it’s the only thing we know.
God knew this, so with His fierce and defiant love He held us. Like a mother, wild with love, He sent His only Son. And wild with love He held this Son to a cross so we could be held to Him, never to be taken away.
This is what we must know. The miracle of love on a Tuesday…on all our days. We are held tight in His love, and in His love we have all we need to survive.
Brave Prince, Lovely Princess, may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found in the fierce and defiant hold of His love.
May this be the place where you find your life and watch what love will do.