Christian Science nursing is an essential aspect of living and loving as our Master, Christ Jesus. The inherent, childlike instinct to follow His example brings true and lasting satisfaction. There’s a story in Matthew 25 that illustrates the relationship between nursing and rejoicing in the kingdom of heaven.
Here Jesus presents an equation: caring for Christ’s brethren = caring for Jesus = inheriting the kingdom. Jesus said that those who take care of and visit the sick, feed the hungry, take in the homeless, clothe the naked, and visit prisoners have a place in God’s kingdom. Why? Because they have served Christ Jesus, “the Word made flesh,” John 1:14. That “Word made flesh” could be LOVE,– love made visible, tangible. Jesus told us and showed us the two main commandments: love God, and love man. And as Christian Scientists, our caring for the sick, –taking them in or visiting them–should be so full of the Christ spirit that it heals.
Countless hours of love are poured forth by the nurses as they are watching, praying, supporting, witnessing, bathing, bandaging, and feeding each day at Fern Lodge. We have a full house and, sadly, we turn away about 4-6 requests for admission each month because we do not have room for them. Yet, many nursing needs are cared for at home by staff nurses on their off-time who fit these in around family lives. We are so grateful for each one, and for the four nurses who were accepted for listing in The Christian Science Journal this year.
Christian Science nurses education is an important component of our work at Fern Lodge. Since 2000, our education program has been helping dedicated Christian Scientists awaken to the joys and rewards of nursing, to understand and participate in its healing ministry. Individuals are learning Christian Science nursing in ways that meet their unique needs.
For example, three women with young families, living three to five hours away in the Sierra foothills, began meeting with me in one of their homes for instruction in nursing principles, skills and ethics. This class continues successfully, alternating between in-home instruction and hands-on experience at Fern Lodge They have found opportunities to nurse in their communities. An article written by this class appeared in the international Christian Science nursing newsletter, Vision Now, describing how the class came together and how it blesses their lives each day. Nurses from around the country have expressed gratitude for such a program. One experienced nurse emailed her delight: “What a fantastic outreach–I’m so grateful to the Fern Lodge Board…for backing such an unusual plan…in bringing the [Nursing] By-Law to life and demonstration.”
Students on staff, and several ochers from California, Oregon and Washington have participated in nursing classes and mentoring at Fern Lodge. Our latest adventure is reaching a bilingual nursing course for three South Americans. These earnest students of Christian Science are improving their English while learning nursing principles, skills and ethics.
The Bible makes several references to God pouring our His spirit and pouring out so many blessings that we can’t contain them. The imagery of pouring is so clear: it’s unmistakable. We have seen repeated healings of temperament softened and confusion lessened or healed through knowing clearly that there is only one Mind and it is divine, controlling every aspect of our work. We have felt divine Love pouring itself over frustration and mean-spiritedness, — neutralizing them.
We are so grateful for the outpouring of love we feel from volunteers. Patients would love more volunteers to come read to them, especially on weekends. It’s a great way to fulfill our Leader’s prayer, “some daily good to do to Thine, for Thee.” Thank you all for your affection and care.
Sharon Strong, Director of Christian Science Nursing