I work as a business manager in a Christian Science nursing facility. A Christian Science nursing facility is a place where individuals can come to rely solely on prayer for healing and be upheld by the spiritual comfort and practical care given by Christian Science nurses. I feel blessed to be part of the Christian Science movement through the work of Christian Science nursing.
In an article called “ ‘Quiet resting places’ ” about Christian Science sanatoriums (the name at the time for Christian Science nursing facilities), Annie Knott, an early student of Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, “To be called to the highest service is indeed an honor which demands fitness to begin with, and also joyful readiness to perform the lowliest tasks” (Sentinel, November 4, 1922). The use of the word lowly, to me, means that to be ready to serve the utmost, we need to be prepared to accomplish the humblest undertakings. So, to serve others in this way is to participate in that “highest service.” It is in this same spirit of humble service that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. These tasks need not be accomplished grudgingly, but willingly and with joy! Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “God selects for the highest service one who has grown into such a fitness for it as renders any abuse of the mission an impossibility” (p. 455).
By being ready to carry out the tasks God gives us, whatever they may be, we are serving and paying homage to Him.
I found myself needing to help a family member with practical care and prayerful support when she suddenly lost the use of her arm. She had called a Christian Science practitioner to give her treatment through prayer, and I was happy to help support her decision to rely on Christian Science for healing by giving her practical care consistent with Christian Science. I was so grateful that I had taken the first level of Christian Science nurses training. This family member needed help positioning herself comfortably, as well as bathing and dressing. Although I wasn’t giving her Christian Science treatment, I made sure to include in my thoughts and words the truth about man—which means all of us, as God’s children—and his fundamental right to activity and freedom of movement. I became more receptive to thoughts that told me what to do at the time I needed to do it. As I performed these duties, I gained a sense of consecration to serving God and man. I began to see my family member whole and free as God made her, even if the physical senses showed something else.
She progressed beautifully and soon was no longer fearful of showering without me near, and then no longer needed help dressing. I quietly gave gratitude for each new freedom she exhibited, while being mindful to support her progress. Shortly after this, she began to be able to move her arm, and soon she could lift her arm all the way up. We rejoiced together in God’s goodness!
This whole experience made me keenly grateful that I am part of the work of Christian Science nursing. It gave me a new appreciation for serving, and helped me to see that, in fact, we all are part of the work of Christian Science nursing in its broader sense as we care for our fellow man.
In the book of Revelation we read, “His servants shall serve him” (22:3). The word serve in this passage corresponds with paying homage to God. When I looked up the word homage, I found that Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defined it as “to pay respect to by external action; to give reverence to; to profess fealty.” I love the idea of paying respect, giving reverence, and professing fealty, or loyalty, to God.
By being ready to carry out the tasks God gives us, whatever they may be, we are serving and paying homage to Him. Our job is to serve God by reflecting divine Love through a joyful willingness to serve and love others.
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