Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Good Friday, April 7, 2023 — Morning

By Suzanne Matheny

Seeing the Love in His Glance

Read: Psalm 22:1, Mark 15:34, Matthew 27:46

“‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”

Read: John 14:20

“‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.’”

Sister Monica Joan, elderly nun/midwife, is a favorite character in the BBC series, Call the Midwife. She suffers from dementia and feels purposeless. Yet, she has moments of lucidity and wisdom, with surprising clarity of memory or piercing observations. Yet, a day comes when she has a crisis of faith, despite her decades of prayer and service. She is distraught, questioning God, feeling lost.*

Biblical stories attest to God’s people, even God’s son, were subjected to doubts or feeling forsaken. Is it possible that any person of finite mind has not felt this tension? Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, coined the term “dark night” of the soul. And, recently, we have learned that Mother Teresa, in the midst of having done so much good, struggled with her doubts. What are we to think? We are human. We are not exempt. The irony is that wrestling with this tension may deepen our faith.

Sister Monica Joan also dreams of a white stag that becomes her symbol of knowing God’s presence – the Divine blessing she needs. In later scenes, she does see that white stag and exclaims, “I knew him at once for the love in his glance.”** In those dark nights, when we yearn to know God’s presence, it may seem elusive; and we are left to exercise faith that Christ is, as he said, in us. We may also need to learn new ways of seeing so that at once, we know him for the love in his glances.***


Love Divine, pure unbounded love that You are, open our eyes that we may see anew your presence in us and catch new glances of Love You send our way, in whatever form they may come. Amen.

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*Call the Midwife, BBC drama, Season 10, Episode 1.

**Call the Midwife, BBC drama, Season 9, 2019 Holiday Special.

***Lloyd, Samuel T., III. Sermons from the National Cathedral: Soundings for the Journey, pg.43-47.