Nursing, God's Work
This is a letter to all the nurses who have spent time with their patient's, holding their hand, calming their spirits, praying for them, comforting them, crying with them, communicating that you care about their body, mental well-being and their spirituality.
Nursing is not just passing meds, analyzing labs, charting, talking to Dr's and family members, changing dressings, etc., etc.... A friend said to me one day "you are doing the Lord's work." It made me stop and think about my purpose in this profession. My decision to become a nurse was to help people; do something meaningful. I suspect it's the same for many other nurses. So what is it that we want to help people with? The obvious is their physical needs. But when you begin to consider who is holding together our existence, our cells and their capacity to work properly, it goes beyond that because there is a dependence on our creator. We have learned the intricacies of the physiology of the human body and considered with awe, the detail it encompasses. Through that learning experience, we've received faith in our creator and realized it's a gift to us that has been nurtured along. The understanding of God's power to heal goes beyond our own capacity. So what else do we desire to help people with? We want them to know that we care about them; even those we don't even know. It's an inherent love towards others that we can't explain.
We are all aware of how others have stereotyped us. We are said to have a type A personality and co-dependency traits. The truth is we are benevolent, empathic, nurturing, compassionate, have a strong sense of urgency, obsessed with our work, aggressive, competitive, intense, want to get things done, hard-driving and detailed. As you know, nursing requires all of these traits. If we believe that there is a God and He is in control of our lives then we also have to believe that these character traits were formed in us, outside of our control. Genetics, social surroundings and influences geared us in that direction. Were they formed in us for the purpose of nursing and doing God's work? What exactly is God's work and why has He given us this desire? I will attempt to answer this last question.
Healing is mentioned 129 times in the Bible. God is definitely interested in healing. Deuteronomy 32:39 says, "See now that I, even I am He, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive, I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. Jeremiah 30:17 says, "For I will restore health unto you, and I will heal you of your wounds, says the Lord." Luke 9:2 states concerning Jesus, "And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." I believe He is also sending us for this same purpose. Please note that it is not only to heal the sick but also to preach the kingdom of God first.
To preach the kingdom of God is to tell people about God and His kingdom. This is His work for us. Greater than any other command to us is His command to us to love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34). He loved us so much that He laid down His life for us and took all our sins upon Himself so that we can have life in Him, eternally. Not just an ordinary life, but one with meaning. That love is expressed in our nurturing and compassionate character traits that we exhibit to others.
What we say to our patients may be the very last thing they hear.