Below is a compilation of some of the ideas shared by Bonnie Castroman from The Mother Church and staff member Melanie Pilonieta at Broadview’s recent workshop, Discover Christian Science Nursing. Other presenters included Christian Science nurses Laura Armstrong, Jacquelyn Murdaugh, and Melanie Peterson.
Being a Christian Science nurse is not much different than being a dedicated, practicing Christian Scientist. Though Christian Science nurses are specifically trained in certain areas of caregiving (such as bandaging, lifting, modifying food and so forth),their first – and most important – area of expertise is metaphysics. They are practitioners of unconditional Love! But…aren’t we all?
Our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, “Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal” (Miscellaneous Writings 250:14).
The practice of Christian Science – whether as a Christian Science nurse or not – is based on this kind of love. It’s not about personal friendships or family bonds, kindred likes and dislikes, or even human kindness, a genial temperament, and a gentle touch. It is the emanation of the spiritual understanding and certainty of the relationship between God and man (as defined in Genesis 1:1).
Have you discovered this foundation for Christian Science nursing? Before individuals begin to work in this healing ministry, it is so important to recognize that it is this “demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice” guiding them (Manual of The Mother Church, Art. VIII, Sect. 31).
An example of such a practice of divine Love can be found in Christ Jesus’ healing of Jairus’ daughter, as recorded in the chapter of Mark. The writer relates that the daughter had been pronounced dead, but Jesus still went to her. “And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John…” (5:37). When he arrived at the house, he put out all those who were weeping and wailing and allowed only the mother and father of the girl along with his disciples to enter. He then raised the daughter from
so-called death, with these witnesses at hand.
Have you ever wondered why he allowed these individuals to be in
the room for the healing while everyone else was put out? Did they have a special badge that gave them a front-row seat at Jesus’ healings? Or did they perhaps maintain an expectancy of healing whereas the others did not? “When
someone we know has a challenge to overcome, the atmosphere surrounding that individual ought to be scientific: only pure, vigorous, spiritual witnessing should be admitted…and this is the care we owe each other” (Schiering, Geraldine. “The theology of care.” The Christian Science Journal. July 1982).
it is so important to treat Christian Science nursing as a ministry and not as a “job.” It isn’t about receiving a paycheck or having something to do every day. It is the joy of practicing Christian Science and witnessing healing on a consistent basis.No matter the challenge or the assignment, the reward is always worth it.
“Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God…Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings” (Science and Health 15:25).