What a joy it is to realize when you go to do a job given by our Father-Mother God that the people awaiting you have been praying as earnestly (sometimes even more) than you in order to have a fruitful, joyful and Christly experience.
That is exactly what happened during our last visit to the capital of Peru–Lima–in South America. More than 40 eager and ready Christian Scientists with one of our hymns in mind gathered together in order to sing:
A grateful heart a garden is, Where there is always room For every lovely, God-like grace To come to perfect bloom…(1)
Voicing and knowing from that moment that our motto for that week of Christian Science Nursing Training in Lima was going to be:
“Gratitude is richness and complaint is poverty”.
Mary Baker Eddy clearly defined the role of the Christian Science Nurse in Article VIII, Section 31 of the Church Manual of The First Church of Christ Scientist, in Boston, Mass where it reads:
A member of The Mother Church who represents himself or herself as a Christian Science nurse shall be one who has a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice, who thoroughly understands the practical wisdom necessary in a sick room, and who can take proper care of the sick.
The cards of such persons may be inserted in The Christian Science Journal under rules established by the publishers.(2)
The foundation mentioned above, together with what our beloved leader Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures regarding what a Christian Science Nurse ought to be and the qualifications he/she should always strive for, were the basis for discussion:
“An ill-tempered, complaining, or deceitful person should not be a nurse. The nurse should be cheerful, orderly, punctual, patient, full of faith, – receptive to Truth and Love”. (3)
The practical aspect and behavior a Christian Science Nurse was exemplified by the story in the Bible of The Good Samaritan (4), allowing the class to see how “love is/was put into action,” as our Master Jesus Christ tells us in that beautiful parable.
Besides learning all the skills a Christian Science Nurse needs to know in order to show “Practical wisdom,” “knowledge of how to take proper care of the sick”, the whole class worked in depth in the understanding of the word “NURSE” which comes from the latin word “Nutricia” that means to “to nourish.” Everybody was invited to prepare their favorite Peruvian meals, while explaining the ingredients used and how they were prepared. There were dishes from different regions of Peru, as well as desserts and beverages. Then the participants explained how they would go about modifying these “regular meals” into nourishment, which in turn could be shared with individuals who temporally are needing soft, liquid, or transparent foods/meals.
Not surprisingly, the whole class turned into a “GARDEN OF GRATITUDE” where everyone came “TO PERFECT BLOOM.” We closed the class saying together the sixth Tenet (5) , promising to strive in order to be “GOOD SAMARITANS” for all mankind.
(1) Christian Science Hymnal – Hymn # 3
(2) Manual of the Mother Church, page 49
(3) Science and Health, Page 395
(4) The Bible, Luke 10: 25-37
(5) Science and Health, Page 497