Sharon Strong, Director of Christian Science Nurses Training, recently participated in a meeting where four Christian Science nurses answered a number of questions. We think that Sharon’s answer to one of these questions will be of interest to you.
Even if your first response is, “Nope, it’s not for me or anyone I know,” I hope you will think about this question with an open heart and open thought. I’ll share a story to illustrate.
One of my Sunday School teachers was the bookkeeper at my hometown Christian Science nursing facility. She urged me to apply to work as a nurse’s aide. My first day of work was at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Mid-morning I cheerfully resolved, “I’m never coming back.” The work day began too early, and the duties were too foreign. But near the end of the day I served juice to a gentleman who I soon realized couldn’t drink by himself. I helped him. That moment of tender service and his deep gratitude, awakened a feeling of purpose and worth within me, and I worked Saturdays and summers for several years in that capacity. In my third year of college, I missed working with those dear patients, and so I traveled across the country to continue my training at Chestnut Hill. Learning more about Christian Science nursing was an inspiring journey for me. I went from the idea of giving simple, kind service to a fuller recognition of being a healing presence and witnessing the Christ in action wherever there was a need.
If you love God, enjoy working with people, and have experienced the healing power of Christian Science for yourself, and if you feel you want to give back and support others, you, too, might be ready!
Every Christian Science nursing facility would be happy to have you visit as a volunteer, and that’s a great way see Christian Science nursing in action. If you live near Fern Lodge, we will welcome you with open arms. You also could take an introductory course in Christian Science nursing or attend a care workshop in your branch church. These programs are great ways to get a sense of the ministry of this work. And you will take home a few skills you can use if a church or family member has a need. If you are interested, please give us a call.
If it seems to you that Christian Science nursing is a ministry you would like to follow, Fern Lodge offers a complete course in Christian Science nurses training, consisting of classroom teaching and discussion, followed by mentored work with patients. Through this program, we help individuals fulfill two of the elements of the Church Manual By-Law, Christian Science Nurse: having “the practical wisdom necessary in a sick room,” and being able to “take proper care of the sick.”
Christian Scientists who feel accomplished in their overall abilities, may apply to be listed in The Christian Science Journal, which will enable them to advertise their readiness to give loving, practical, healing Christian Science nursing care. But not everyone needs to advertise in The Journal. You can still be of great service locally to church members without making yourself available to the entire world! Your prayers are needed to support all of these vital healing activities. If your heart is ready, God will guide you!
Caring for others is natural, and it demonstrates our understanding of divine Love. “We measure our love for God by our love for man,” our Leader tells us (Mis 12:28). Nursing demonstrates the tender care that is needed so much in the world today. Christian Science nurses give mankind a precious view of the Motherhood of God. Christian Science nursing expresses the heart of Mary, the hands of Martha, and the Mind of Christ.