Once upon a time, Call the Midwife Called the Church.
I’ve got your next Netflix binge: Call the Midwife. First suggested to me when my beloved Downton Abbey left me longing for a crisp British accent and the gloriously put-together story style only the BBC can ensure, I cracked the spine on the girls inhabiting the East End of London and have reveled in all things British ever since.
Based on the novel, aptly named, Call the Midwife, and currently shooting its seventh season, Call the Midwife, the television show, has queued up five seasons on Netflix (rumors are that season six will be loaded in November!), each one offering eight episodes plus a Christmas Special (season one technically only offers six, which is surely a sadness we must all endure). The specials run just a bit longer than the average forty-two minutes of a normal missive and the first season is directly inspired from the real-life memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a midwife assigned to The Community of St. John the Divine in the 1948's.
The story centers around the midwives of Poplar, who serve alongside an order of nun nurses living in a poor area by the sea. In addition to the sprinkling of historical medical and social lessons, Call the Midwife instructs viewers about the true meanings of mercy, grace, and even Christianity.
In an age where Christians are often more often than not recognized for their exclusivity and judgement, the care and concern for every person - regardless of station or choices - displayed by the admittedly conservative sisters stands in stark contrast to (and perhaps causes no little concern for) the regimented mindset our young midwives. Whereas they expected to change a run-down little area with their advanced medical training and care, it seems the nuns understanding of Christ’s love, and their role in administering it, alters each midwife’s view in wonderful ways.
I especially recommend season one’s Christmas special if you’re looking for a narrated sermon on how we are called to love rather than judge...trust me, it’ll preach!