Thursday this week (May 12th) is International Nurses’ Day. It’s also the day on which Florence Nightingale was born in 1810, whose life is commemorated and celebrated in the church calendar. She was born in the city of Florence to upper class English parents who were travelling in Italy at the time, hence her first name. Feeling called by God to care for the sick, first on battlefields (notably in the Crimean War) and then back home in England, she is universally regarded as the mother of modern nursing as a profession. Almost single-handedly she transformed the idea of a hospital from an unsterile and dank place for ‘parking’ sick and injured people, into a place of proper medical care.
Using her family connections with the powerful and the elite, she influenced public policy, wrote training manuals and lobbied ceaselessly for hospitals to be properly equipped and run. Her habit of walking around wards at night, offering TLC to the sick and keeping vigil with those who were dying, earned her the nickname “Lady with the Lamp.”
My mother was a nurse, first in the OR, then she trained in midwifery, and after that she worked for a family doctor for many years - truth be known, she ran the entire practice! As I think back over her life, indeed everyone I’ve known who chose that profession, what is most noticeable is the practical, no-nonsense, can-do compassion which nurses have. As kids, whatever crisis came our way it was Nurse Mom who kept everyone calm and devised common sense, straightforward solutions. Blood pouring down a leg from a knee scrape - no problem, after a calm cleanup, a bandage and “kiss it better” all was well! A hot plate or bowl to be moved - no problem for her, “nurse’s hands…” she would say! From dealing with broken bones to helping daughters and daughters-in-law through pregnancies, it was always the nurse in her who came to the fore. More recently nurses and caregivers have borne a huge part of the Covid-19 healthcare load in that familiar pragmatic, get-it-done way. In my opinion, theirs is one of the most under-appreciated professions today.
In the book “For all the Saints” authored by the late Rev. Dr. Stephen Reynolds, the following prayer is offered for this day:
“Life-giving God, you alone have power over life and death, over health and sickness. Give power, wisdom, and gentleness to those who follow the lead of Florence Nightingale, that they, bearing with them your presence, may not only heal but bless, and shine as lanterns of hope in the darkest hours of pain and fear.”
I commend it to your devotions this week.
With every blessing,
SPECIAL VESTRY MEETING
Sunday May 15 in church after the service, to approve the 2022 budget. The next Parish Council Meeting will be on May 25th at 1pm in the hall.
OUR READERS ROSTER still has many gaps . . .
Many, many thanks to those who have already signed up. Please sign up to read on the NEW roster at the entrance to the church.
The Easter lilies from the altar are done for this year. We have around 8 plants that are FREE for the taking if you want them for your garden. HELP YOURSELF, they are on the ramp entrance by the front doors.
Check out this link https://www.bc.anglican.ca/events to see all upcoming Diocesan events.