Morning Light Staff
- Board of Directors
- Peter Ward
- Karin Smith
- Heather Bauer, C.S.
- Karrell Dowling
- Kitty Wilson, C.S
- Cynthia Miller
- Peter Ward
- Lodge Administrator
- Cynthia Miller
- Christian Science Nurses
- Karrell Dowling
- Joy Miller
- Florence Roberts
- Office Staff
- Charlotte Gaines
- Sarah Taylor
- Charlotte Gaines
- Practitioner Advisory Committee
- Cheryl Fejes, C.S.
- Cheryl Peters, C.S.
A GIFT TODAY
makes it possible for Christian Scientists to come to Morning Light Lodge for support, inspiration, comfort, and healing in times of special need. Please take prayerful time to consider a generous and substantial contribution.
With heartfelt gratitude for your thoughtfulness,
The Morning Light Board of Directors
Recently, many of us were able to come together for a wonderful time at Morning Light’s Annual Meeting. Our morning together was awesome. The reports and stories from the Morning Light nurses were uplifting, the music was lively and fun, and the talk given by Christine Irby Williams was truly inspired. Joe De Frisco from Arden Wood shared very helpful information about health insurance for Christian Scientists. We loved sharing the many instances in which God has nursed Morning Light in the past year, as well as discussing our theme from Acts 13:22 –“ [A Christian Science Nurse] after God’s own heart who shall fulfill the will of the Father.” We’ve discovered that everyone has a story, and we loved telling the Morning Light story to you at our annual meeting…
How God has nursed Morning Light:
There are so many ways! In January, we held a workshop for nine Christian Science nurses, ranging from those newly interested in C.S. nursing, to those currently in training, to those who have been in the ministry for many years. We explored new ideas and lifted thought to infinite possibilities! One tangible outcome of this meeting is a new partnership with the Albert Baker Foundation to fund mentoring workshops with these new nurses at Morning Light. Through other funding, we’ve purchased a new car for the Visiting Christian Science Nursing Service and are planning driveway and patio repairs at the Lodge as well as the purchase of a new clothes dryer and laptop computer. In spite of a financial loss in 2008, in 2009 we came in under budget and recorded an increase in the net assets of our general fund.
How we nurse each other:
The rest of our story is about a room, thoroughly furnished; a Christian Science nurse; and you. This room is that quiet sanctuary where we enter in and shut the door to have audience with Spirit. Only Truth, Life and Love are present. In the Bible, Elijah found a loft, Jesus a room where his disciples witnessed healing, and the Apostles an upper chamber where they were of one accord in one place. To nurse, you need a “room” though it might be your car, a booth in a restaurant, or your home. The one essential thing is a witness full of faith, love, and expectation of healing. This brings it back to you – your effective prayers and your genuine love for God and your fellow man! We have a story: a room, a nurse “after God’s own heart”, and you.
Please enjoy reading more about our Annual Meeting in the rest of this newsletter!
With love, The Morning Light Board of Directors
STORY OF A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE NURSE
My story began in Ghana, West Africa, as a young girl with a genuine desire to help people feel better. This led to a career in medical nursing right after high school. After twenty years in this profession my father suffered a stroke with a medical prognosis of death but was healed by a Christian Science practitioner in Ghana. This changed my thinking radically.
I started to study Christian Science and soon discovered an opposite way of thinking from the one I was used to in medical nursing. Unable to reconcile the two conflicting viewpoints and because of the peace I was gaining in my new study, I forfeited my medical nursing license. I went to work in a retail store where customers would tell me their problems, and I would share the spiritual facts I was learning. Many came back with gratitude. When the way unfolded, I took formal classes in Christian Science Nursing.
It is this radical change in thinking that has helped me so much in my work. I understand that right where any disease seems to be is the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of God, good. This understanding gives me strength which shows forth as compassion and love. It helps to uplift and encourage my patients to trust more in their spiritual selfhood.
The discipline and practice of making beds, cooking, cleaning and helping with showers – all from a spiritual perspective – is invaluable. I study and sincerely pray that I will grow every day so that the Morning and the Light can shine through to bless, to comfort and to heal wherever I am led to go.
STORY OF A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE NURSE
My practice of Christian Science nursing began at the age of 5 when I recognized the nursing qualities in myself. My girlfriend and I were lost in our apartment complex. I remember remaining calm and comforting her since she was very frightened and had become sick, and I found someone who drove us home on a golf cart. At age 10, my mom and I volunteered at the Christian Science nursing facility in Dallas. The nurses there let me wear a nurse’s aide apron and help them with their duties. I took my job very seriously and decided that was what I would be when I grew up. My next memory of nursing was in high school where the same little friend was my roommate. She was ill, and I cared for her.
After that I forgot about my interest in Christian Science nursing and proceeded to acquire a college degree in Fashion Merchandising. Now you might think that field has nothing to do with nursing, but it did! Intuitively, and without greed, I assessed what each store uniquely needed for their shops to succeed. Intuition and correct assessment of individual needs are also necessary skills in nursing.
After a decade or so, I found myself seeking to do something more significant with my life. I became a secretary for Morning Light Foundation. Soon I became aware of the qualities of the nurse as described by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pg. 395: “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.” It became obvious to me that Christian Science nursing was my destiny! I had been dwelling on the last line from Mrs. Eddy’s hymn, Christ My Refuge: “My prayer, some daily good to do to Thine, for Thee; an offering pure of Love, whereto God leadeth me.” I recognized this as my prayer being answered, and I announced to my family what I was meant to be doing with my life. The rest is history!
HEALTHCARE INSURANCE FOR CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS
The following is a condensed version of a talk given by Joe De Frisco of Arden Wood on how Christian Scientists can approach the issue of healthcare insurance. Churches and groups of Christian Scientists may contact Joe at 415-379-2104 to ask questions or to arrange a presentation.
- The first step is always prayerful listening. Not everyone wants or needs to be insured. Current laws do require some types of insurance. But for many of us, personal healthcare insurance is still a choice. And we can trust our Shepherd to lead us in the right paths without confusion or pressure.
- The second point is to consider and understand whom the insurance is for. Once you know this, it helps to determine what kind of coverage or policy is appropriate.
- Next is to locate and work with a knowledgeable agent or broker who knows what kinds of policies are available. It may take some time to learn each others languages so that you can be sure you understand each other.
- An insurance policy is a detailed contract. Prepare yourself to ask for specifics, to read the fine print, and to persist. Make sure that what you get is really what you are looking for. You may need to see more than one agent or broker to find the correct coverage.
- This point is more informational than an actual step to take. Of the 20+ Christian Science nursing facilities in the U.S., about 15 of them are Medicare-certified, which means that at age 65 you can use your Medicare Part A benefits to pay for a short-term stay. Not all care qualifies for Medicare coverage; your nursing needs will be assessed. Medicare is intended for hospital-type coverage, where skilled care is needed, not long-term nursing-home-type care or assisted living.
- When working with your agent or broker, it can be helpful to contact your nearest Christian Science facility that successfully processes insurance claims to ask the billing manager or financial officer what types of insurance work. They are a valuable resource. Use public resources if you can for general questions. Call 1-800-MEDICARE, and visit websites like www.medicare.GOV. Arden Wood’s own website (www.ardenwood.org) has a few helpful documents available to read or download in the section on Christian Science Nursing.
- The decision of whether or not to seek healthcare insurance is yours, for the moment. The latest legislation has been signed into law, but two things will delay its impact on Christian Scientists. Parts of the law are not scheduled to come into effect until 2011, 2014, and even beyond; and it will take a long time to iron out the detailed regulations and procedures that will determine how it actually affects us. (See the April 5, 2010 CS Monitor article by Peter Grier.)
During this period of development, let us pray that metaphysical healing and its blessings cannot be hidden or overwhelmed by any material, medical, or political systems of belief or ignorance. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to preserve this open door to true health.
Robiny Rhea of Durham, NC joined us at Annual Meeting to offer a practical approach to insurance for Christian Scientists. She can be reached through her website, www.CSPartners4u.com, or by phone at 919-321-0170.
ANNUAL MEETING ADDRESS:
Madelon Maupin Miles, C.S.
Christian Science nursing is a needed, healing ministry that our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, wisely provided through her Manual By-law, Article 8, Section 31: “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 sickroom, and who can take proper care of the sick.”
Perhaps we don’t give much thought to this healing work until we, or a family member, suddenly needs the services of a Christian Science nurse. Perhaps we come to a facility like Morning Light, or we ask for the help of a visiting nurse who comes to our home. Either way, we’re deeply grateful for the inspiration, calm and practical care brought to what are often challenging situations. With the nurses working side by side with the practitioner on the case, we know healing can result.
Nursing’s spiritual foundation
Today I’d like to make the Biblical case for how nursing is at the core of divine Love’s transformation of the human need, at the intersection where the human and divine meet and healing results. It all has to do with the word ‘practical’ in the By-law quoted above: “the practical wisdom necessary in a sickroom.” This aspect of practicality, grounded in the qualification the By-law states: “one who has a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice,” is what distinguishes nursing from the purely spiritual approach of prayer. You might say nursing puts legs on prayer, as the situation demands.
It is this aspect of the practicality of nursing that comes blazing through in any number of Bible stories and passages. Nursing is evidenced as God’s love seen in a way we can understand and in a way that meets the human need. This means that while we may not be a professional Christian Science nurse ourselves, we can apply the principle of nursing to the many situations in our lives that demand Love’s practical, transforming power.
The last section of that By-law states: “who can take proper care of the sick.” What about those sick over their economic situation, their job, a church situation, a school challenge, national and global politics, or the environment? Can we, through applying the practicality of nursing’s spiritual qualities of responsiveness, affection and alertness, positively impact the ‘sick’ in every facet of our lives? The
Bible would answer a resounding ‘yes’, providing Scriptural evidence that that is exactly what God expects of Her children listening for direction and guidance on how to serve our fellow man.
The relevance of Luke’s Gospel
Luke’s Gospel proclaims God’s universal love, extending the Christian message beyond just the Old Testament’s children of Israel, to ALL who are receptive to the message of salvation brought by Christ Jesus. Mrs. Eddy writes: “The cross is the central emblem of history” (p. 238, S&H). With its two axes, the cross symbolizes both man’s relationship to God with the vertical axis, and one’s relationship to his fellow man with the horizontal axis. To Luke, the way we demonstrate our followership of God (the vertical dimension) is through our fellowship with our neighbor, (the horizontal one), particularly those in need.
This horizontal dimension is what Christian Science nursing demands and why its Manual By-law provision extends beyond those who are professionally engaged in nursing, to the nursing qualities of tenderness and care each of us can bring to a whole spectrum of needs we may see with our neighbors.
It’s helpful to start with definitions – even for words we think we know. In addition to the more familiar sense of the verb: “to nurse” (to tend or minister to in sickness), there is this definition: to look after carefully so as to promote growth, development; to foster; cherish. This is synonymous with the definition of a Christian who, in following Christ Jesus’ example, aspires toward fostering and cherishing the spiritual growth of all who cross our path. Such efforts help us stay alert to also meeting the practical needs of our neighbors, when possible, which reinforces Luke’s message that it is through one’s love for our fellow man that we demonstrate our love for God.
There is also this definition for the noun form for nurse: any fostering agency or influence. We could ask ourselves, in our role as “nurse” in daily encounters with others: is the influence I have on others a fostering one? Do I foster kinship and kindness or brusqueness and carelessness? Like the Bible’s Good Samaritan, am I alert to the practical needs of those who cross my path? Do I embody Love’s “tender mercies” that address the practical needs of family members, relatives, fellow workers, neighbors? Could I look for opportunities to nurse – to foster a loving influence – in daily encounters with the grocery checker, the toll booth taker, the fellow student, the church member not always easy to work with?
The Biblical Basis for Influence
This definition of a “fostering influence” is founded on the deepest Biblical truth, what Mrs. Eddy described as “the signs of Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’ – a divine influence ever present in human consciousness.” You’ll recall that that statement placed early in her textbook – the Preface to Science and Health, p. 12 – refers to Luke’s Gospel, chapter 4. The setting is the launch of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and his first appearance in the Synagogue in Nazareth following the wilderness temptations. Think of the holy state of thought having been alone for 40 days and nights, working through the worst that the devil (or mortal mind) could throw at him. Christ Jesus emerged victorious and went to the Synagogue where he was invited, as a visiting Rabbi, to read from the Hebrew Scriptures. Of the 39 books he could have selected, he picked Isaiah 61:1-2 that prophetically describes the Christly influence his life would embody over the next three years – a ministry that changed human history and each of our lives. As the New Revised Standard Version translates it:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
How about this for a definition of the nursing work we are to daily practice as we too entertain the Christ, Truth, in consciousness? Breaking down the statement, we might say it is:
- Bringing good news to our fellow man poor in the understanding of their natural spiritual perfection, or their reason for hope, or why joy is their nature, not just an aspiration.
- Proclaiming their freedom from whatever would try to hold them captive to a material definition of identity, to any sense of lack of companionship or resources.
- Knowing how Christ, Truth will recover their sight to any blindness to their natural worth, perfect health, satisfying relationships, full employment.
- . Bearing witness to their freedom from economic,emotional or physical oppression, including claims of heredity, dysfunction, stress.
- Approaching each day by proclaiming that this year, this month, this hour is the year of the Lord, the year of
abundance, the year of health, the year of joy and fulfillment, the year of the full use of our spiritual talents in appropriate employment, the year of resolution of any lingering challenge.
Isn’t this the work of nursing each of us can practice in this larger sense?
Testimony of Healing
This letter was received by Morning Light and was read by Patricia Stewart at Annual Meeting: Happy Spring to my dear friends at Morning Light. So much love and gratitude to you for the Truth you reflected and all your loving care. Your strong stand for demonstrating Life here and now stirred my thought to rise from choosing Morning Light as my launching pad to the life hereafter to seeing that the higher demonstration was to take a stand for the power of healing truth of Christian Science here and now. When I arrived at Morning Light, I was unable to walk. My healing at Morning Light was a step of progress which came gradually. When I returned home, I walked from my car to my favorite chair in my living room. Aren’t we grateful that our dear Leader, Mary Baker Eddy had the foresight to provide for Christian Science nursing in the Church Manual? I am grateful for the role each one of you played in awakening my thought. Thank you!!!
Patricia Stewart added:
When I accompanied this individual home, I had the opportunity to carry forward the Christian Science nursing care begun at the Lodge. The author of the letter was especially grateful to be able to walk into her house when she arrived as she had to be carried out when she left for the Lodge. There was continuing progress after her return which culminated in being able to drive herself to church again.
Example from 2 Kings
Let’s look at a Biblical example in 2 Kings, chapter 5 that embodies this daily approach to nursing grounded in spiritual inspiration and the practical meeting of the human need: the story of Naaman a leper, his young female household servant, and the prophet Elisha The setting is the middle of the 9 th century BC (about 850), where there is a warring relationship between Israel and the Kingdom of Aram – an important nation in southern Syria, which flourished between the 11th and 8th centuries B.C.E. and had its capital at Damascus, the current capital of the modern state of Syria.
Naaman was Commander in Chief of the nation’s armies, having not only enjoyed battlefield success but the King’s trust – a kind of General Macarthur of the ancient world. Key to the story is a young woman who was one of the many spoils of war. The text says in 2 Kings 5: 3, “And the Syrians had gone out by companies.” ‘Companies’ is a polite way of translating the Hebrew for ‘marauding bands’. We can only imagine what she, like so many young girls and women, might have endured before arriving as a household slave to the General’s wife. While the story doesn’t give detail of her background, history has recorded the frequency of the exploitation of women in such conditions. That’s important only to appreciate the spiritual distance she must have traveled to play such a healing role.
But the text does reveal the quality of her thought: concern for her master, which must have arisen out of forgiveness for whatever wrongs had been done her; unselfed love to think of more than herself; and above all, a deep faith and conviction that someone in her defeated country understood and loved God enough to be able to help and heal her master. Perhaps this ‘little maid’ had seen firsthand some of the works of Elisha, or at the least, had heard of the healing provided others.
The modern equivalent of her unselfish act of referring her leprous master to Elisha would be someone slighted or wronged by a neighbor who had been unfair without cause, perhaps gossiping in a damaging way. How easy to be resentful in such a scenario. Then you learn that the critical neighbor is quite ill, hospitalized. Working through resentment by practicing forgiving care and love for another, you make a hospital visit, pointing them to the healing Christ, Truth that results in their complete freedom.
The little maid embodies the description of nursing we all can practice: she entertains that Christ consciousness that cannot co-exist with any personal sense filled with hatred, resentment or anger. (As a wise CS healer used to say: such feelings may be humanly justifiable but divinely inadmissible.) Next the slave girl takes the practical step to do something to meet the human need: in this case telling her mistress (Naaman’s wife) about Elisha’s healing ministry. Naaman goes to Israel and we know the rest of the story: his health is restored following his obedience to Elisha’s command to bathe seven times in the Jordan. What isn’t as well known is that an important relationship developed – because of this experience – between Elisha and the King of Aram that resulted in increasing peace between the two countries. All of this came from the nursing qualities practiced by a household slave girl.
The definition of “Elias” in the glossary of Science and Health has special application to both this story and Christian Science nursing in general. “Spiritual evidence opposed to material sense; Christian Science, with which can be discerned the spiritual fact of whatever the material senses behold; the basis of immortality.” (p. 585) “Elias truly shall first come and restore all things.”
Isn’t this the description of the spiritual roles and responsibilities of a nurse, or any of us who practice nursing to whatever in our lives needs such tender care? We are truly called to restore the material picture with spiritual evidence. That spiritual seeing is like a laser, cutting through the false evidence that tries to see a sick mortal, sick body, sick economy, sick relationship. Doesn’t every aspect of our personal and professional lives require such spiritual seeing, the nursing qualities embedded in this story and so many others throughout the Scriptures?
I experienced first hand the restoration of health as described in the definition of Elias and learned more of Love’s direct nursing care several years ago with what I later learned was a claim of blood poisoning. A work situation had occurred where people seemed unfairly dismissed from their executive jobs because of a disagreement with senior leadership. I was resentful, but even more challenging, seriously disheartened and sad. If people I so greatly admired had made such a critical mistake, then maybe God wasn’t truly in charge after all. After several rough days, my prayers for healing were answered when a practitioner reminded me of the correlative passage read each Sunday from I John 3: “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” The claim wasn’t blood poisoning but hopelessness.
This Christly message transformed consciousness from fear and despair to a spiritually grounded sense of hope based on God’s omnipotent governance. The restoration of hope had an immediate cleansing effect as wounds opened and within moments a pool of the poisonous liquid drained from the arm. Within hours the openings closed and that was the astounding end of the challenge.
This tender guardianship of divine Love, this divine nursing care, brought healing to the body but more, a profound shift in consciousness. I well remember the awe of seeing Love at work in such a practical way. Within weeks an additional practical need was met as I was effortlessly lifted out of that organization for a truly fulfilling professional activity that lasted the next ten years.
Finally, there is special reference to nursing in Paul’s letters that is a further Biblical example of the practice of nursing in this larger way – by each of us whether a professional nurse or not.
As background, Paul’s seven letters to the churches he nurtured into existence are the earliest Christian documents, preceding the Gospels by a generation. Of the seven, I Thessalonians is the first. How instructive, then, to note that in this first great document of Christianity, a key metaphor Paul chooses to illustrate how he works with the fledgling converts is nursing. The setting is that Paul recounts his interactions with the Thessalonians, stressing his integrity while proclaiming the gospel among them, and his ongoing concern for them after he had moved on. It’s a letter of both admonition and encouragement.
Thessalonica was the capital of the Roman province Macedonia and a Greek city with little Jewish population, so Paul’s audience are Gentiles who have had a long devotion to the cult of the Roman emperor. Paul’s purpose in writing is to strengthen the congregation by reminding them of his initial proclaiming of Christ’s kingdom, and to encourage them to be firm in persecution for their Christian beliefs.
The King James Version reads:
You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.
Here is the same passage in a modern paraphrase from The Message, by Eugene Peterson, a text that often captures the essence of the King James translation but in more current vernacular: Here is the same passage in a modern paraphrase from The Message, by Eugene Peterson, a text that often captures the essence of the King James translation but in more current vernacular:
God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas. We never used words to butter you up. No one knows that better than you. And God knows we never used words as a smoke screen to take advantage of you. Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren’t aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did.
Christian Science nursing demands nothing less from us: that we give our hearts – in gentleness, tenderness and practical care – to those around us to demonstrate that coincidence of divine Love meeting the human need. Then we’re daily living the Manual By-law for nursing our Leader so lovingly provides
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT
The Christian Science nurses and members of the executive board of Morning Light Foundation appreciate your partnership in our grand adventure in the ministry of Christian healing. As we wrote in our letter to you in January: This year [we] are focusing on this statement from Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 by Mary Baker Eddy, “In different ages the divine idea assumes different forms, according to humanity’s needs. In this age it assumes, more intelligently than ever before, the form of Christian healing. This is the babe we are to cherish.”(370:12-15) Whether we’re dealing with a specific nursing case, finances or new wallpaper for the Lodge, we are committed to seeing every task through the lens of Christian healing. If something does not have a supportive connection with our healing work, we take it off our agenda.
Two challenges we are facing are direct impositions on Christian Science healing practice. The first is the underutilization of our facility and the Christian Science nursing service. While there is a consistent demand for our services, at times it could be greater. We feel that we can be more useful than we have been lately. There are probably several factors contributing to this slowdown; one of which appears to be Christian Scientists choosing to use medical treatment and convalescent facilities. This happens for many reasons including family pressure, the ready availability of health insurance coverage for medical facilities, or the misconception that Morning Light is unaffordable, which is not true. We respect individuals’ rights to decide what is best for them. Consequently it is up to those of us here today, the founders and supporters of Morning Light to appreciate and demonstrate the effectiveness of Christian Science in healing physical, mental, and age-related beliefs about illness. We are committed to proving how effectively it heals.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Healing the sick and the sinner with Truth demonstrates what we affirm of Christian Science, and nothing can substitute this demonstration. I recommend that each member of this Church shall strive to demonstrate by his or her practice, that Christian Science heals the sick quickly and wholly, thus proving this Science to be all that we claim for it.” (Church Manual, 92:4)
The second challenge is a decline in investment value and income. With so many feeling the squeeze, we are not alone. The false claim is that Christian healing is a captive of the economy – that Christian Science practice depends on investments to support it. It should be seen the other way around: investments and the economy are supported by the light that comes through the Comforter. We are beginning to see our investments recoup some of the losses, and we are grateful. Still, we think it is important to understand and prove that this babe of Christian healing is thriving and robust and is not held hostage to world beliefs about the economy.
We humbly ask you to join with us in beginning or continuing specific daily prayer in support of Christian healing as it is practiced by Christian Science practitioners and nurses, and particularly for the role Morning Light is playing in this ministry.
PERSPECTIVES on CHRISTIAN SCIENCE NURSING
I love the ministry of Christian Science nursing, and I am grateful for the opportunities that Morning Light gives me to practice being the expression of Divine Love. Mrs. Eddy said, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Science and Health page 494). What is needed to do this work, then, is to humbly listen, obey what Love imparts, and pray for divine guidance in all activities. A primary focus is to free one’s thought from the false claims one encounters, and to maintain in thought the truth of God’s perfect child. I try to think, know, and live love at all times so that when the call comes, I am in a frame of mind that enables me to express compassion, kindness, gentleness, and cheerfulness.
Morning Light is more than a beautiful house. It is a state of consciousness – a consciousness of God’s love, peace, joy, beauty, and compassion. This means we take Morning Light with us wherever we go. On one occasion, there was a need for Morning Light to provide care in another state. I spent my travel time in prayer knowing that the perfect child of God would be apparent when I arrived at my destination. I also kept knowing that whatever the need was, it had already been met. Upon arrival, I was grateful I could see a healthy young lady who was surprised that I couldn’t see anything wrong with her.
The patient communicated daily with her practitioner, and I listened to God for what I needed to do. She worked with the truths that came to her to replace the false beliefs that had seemed so real. She gained insight to love, to feel loved, and to be grateful for all that God has already given her. I worked to keep my thought uplifted, provided comfort, and offered encouragement. Within two days the situation had improved enough for her to feel she could go back to work the next day. She had gained renewed strength along with the understanding to help her see herself correctly and feel God’s Love right where she was. This experience proved that when our consciousness is steadfastly filled with the allness of God, we can feel His love anywhere. Divine Love brought Morning Light to this home.
PERSPECTIVES on CHRISTIAN SCIENCE NURSING
A common misconception about Christian Science nursing is that it’s a step aside from the treatment given by the Christian Science practitioner. It can’t be!
Christian Science nursing is practical care that is in line with Christian Science treatment! Although the symptoms of disease may seem very real to the patient they must not appear real to the Christian Science nurse, and that’s who you want to stand with you to see through the challenge without consenting to it in any way. Divine Love knows what you need, and the Christian Science nurse must be a clear transparency so that she knows as well what the need is, even if it is unspoken, and how to address it in a very individual case-by-case way.
Nursing at Morning Light Lodge takes many forms, so here is an example. It was important in this case to be perceptive about the guest’s unvoiced needs. In order to support the guest’s demonstration of proper mobility, rest, and nourishment, it was necessary to be receptive to God and be clear minded. I noticed her need to rest in between and during activities, so I began to think about the next activity in advance, and introduced the idea of a comfort aid. She thought she might like that idea and later was very grateful for it.
Considering nourishment, I thought baked custard might be appetizing, so I made it. She said that she hadn’t eaten custard since her mother made it for her when she was a child, and she was really looking forward to it. Keep in mind this was someone who didn’t want to eat or even hear about food. She heartily ate the custard; this marked the beginning of a turn around wherein her appetite increased substantially. I was very grateful for that inspiration!
I know that it is my spiritual sense and inspiration coming from God that leads me to the proper care for each guest. It is the divine authority that I accept for my practice of Christian Science nursing