Lets find the positive

The East End of London, 1939 (source)
Too many bloggers bemoan the school system, how bad the government is, how society is slipping into quagmire, the size of the debt and the list goes on.  Some of this is true, but to a non-Christian, it comes across as a lot of unhappiness and complaining.  We need to start looking around for what is good, at people who are doing wonderful things, the kindness, the gentleness, the beauty that can be found. Being positive. Constantly finding fault in society (blaming the government for everything) is not healthy or productive and its depressing. We are told in the bible to "rejoice", but many a blog I visit is anything but rejoicing. 

I have just finished reading "Call the Midwife" by Jennifer Worth.  Some of you may have seen the series on TV (which was excellent), but the book is even better and I would highly recommend it. Jennifer was a midwife in the 1950's working in the East End of London. The East End has always been the poorest part of London but during WWII it was badly damaged by German bombs due to its closeness to the docks -  it was a desperate place to live.  Whilst many a family lived in appalling conditions, often in homes that had been bombed and condemned by the government, they didn't complain about their surroundings, the overcrowding, the lack of amenities, the poverty.  In fact, many were very happy and raised their children the best they could.  They got on with living even if they were all crammed into a 2 bedroom house with no running water. 

We live at a wonderful time, life is no longer tough as it once was, if you are on a low income, the government will provide assistants (those in the East End right up to the 1930s were sent to the Work House if they needed help) but we still like to complain and not be thankful. It doesn't mean we need to bury our heads in the sand, we don't live in a perfect society - but as Christians we really need to be far more positive and less complaining.

I could complain every morning as I drive to work. Being at home would be much nicer - its less stressful and I would be my own boss. But that isn't the plan God has for me. So I don't complain and I don't argue with Him, I made the very best of each day.

So instead of looking at what the government is doing wrong, start looking for things that are positive. Be thankful for what we have, it's not perfect, but its way better that many others have lived or are living. 

In the East End I found grace and faith and hope hidden in the darkest corners. I found tenderness and squalor and laughter amid filth. I found a purpose and a path, and I worked with a passion for the best reason of all - I did it for love. 

Jennifer Worth "Call the Midwife"


  1. The problem with today is that we have it TOO good in some respects - it gives us too much time to be discontent and want more. We expect all the good things, think it's our right to have those things and start complaining if we think we're missing out on anything or if something's not to our liking. Tough times bring out either the good or the bad in people, but you often see in history how it made people pull together and be thankful for small mercies. You are right, Jo - we need to be thankful, and positive and rejoice because no matter how bad we perceive it, someone else is sure to have it worse somewhere in the world.
    Call the Midwife is excellent - I'm so glad you recommended it to me last year!! x

  2. Clara - There is a very touching part in the book, Jennifer was not a Christian woman but one night during a terrible London fog, where she couldn’t see anything in front of her and it was even too dangerous to ride her bike, the nun said to her (before leaving) that she would pray for both her and the and they would be safe. She didn’t really believe in the power of prayer but as soon as she stepped out into the fog she suddenly felt safe and wasn’t scare and she realised for the first time what the meaning of pray was all about. The baby was delivered, but Jennifer believed it had died, but some moments later (to the surprise of all) they realised the permie baby was in fact alive. Then she remembered the words of the nun that she was praying for the baby also, she saw the Lord at work and it really touched her. If you do have the time, the book is even better than the TV series.

    I sometimes think that Christians are even worse at this whinging (dis-content) than non-Christians, partly because they think they have all the answers – no we don’t and we shouldn’t be that arrogant about it.

  3. We should pray for those in authority! Not rip them apart =)
    And Jo, you should borrow Dispatches from th front from Rossie - it will help you appreciate your home, life, etc even more!
    Looking forward to that book, next on the list at the library and so should have a copy in my hands before the end of the month. Been waiting a while, but good to hear it will be worth it!

    1. I have just ordered book 2 which I am really looking forward to reading.

      I was a little confused about the Dispatches, can you send me a message about "it". thanks:) I do appreciate my life very much and thankful and blessed - in particular all the people that make even more special :))

  4. One of the main problems of our society today is that it looks to the government to solve problems. Everyone knows the government cannot solve man's problems. Man is full of pride; he lives with the attitude that declares he can live without God, and he has in fact made himself his own god. As humanists we do not have the answer and only when we acknowledge and give God His rightful place will man become content (for want of a better word). Sinful man will always grumble, as christians our hope should be centred on Christ, not this world.

    1. Agree - we grumble about so many things and the more we have the more we grumble, including many Christians sadly.

  5. This post was *excellent*! You've said (very well I might add) what I've been thinking but wasn't able to articulate. :)


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