Last night Susan and I watched the film Still Life.
This morning our daughter is in the struggles and joys of childbirth.
The heroism in the film is the commitment of the man John May to his vocation. The film is beautiful in its quietness. May is persistent. Steadfast. Quietly but sincerely concerned with people -people who are invisible to the rest of the world. He sees his work as his joy.
The film doesn’t rely on socially established categories to communicate. It is not a pastiche about race or gender. If it is about class, it is first and foremost the story of an individual. It is about persons. Everyone in the film – though disconnected by choice or circumstance from others, though there are reasons to reject them, though they are squalid, though they are isolates – matters. May is the hero because he recognises this. He is the hero because he doesn’t give up on giving these people dignity even when others don’t afford him the same.
Today a little baby boy is coming into a family that loves him. Like thousands of others born today around the world he will have a family that loves him and wants to teach him to afford others respect and kindness.
His mother is loving him now, in her pain. And we are all loving her. Dr Gray is looking after her, affording our daughter dignity. He is confident for her.
There, where she is, no doubt there is a lot of noise. Movement. Action.
Here, where we wait, it is quiet. We are believing people now. I am astonished that birth happens this way. We wait and pray, thankful that a person with knowledge sees her as made in God’s image..