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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grains of transformation

I love The Mission because it allows me to read scripture with fresh eyes. Talk about helping bury my assumptions about what is good and right! The following is a brief encouragement I sent to my nursing students who are in the midst of midterms ... remember that crazy time of the semester?! I thought that I could turn this onto myself and my own experience as a nurse and educator ...

John 12:24-28 (from The Mission)
“Listen carefully:
Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.
 In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life.
But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’?
No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”

I always think of the caterpillar/cocoon/butterfly parallel to the seed/ground/crop analogy of this passage. I think that’s the obvious parallel. But, there is also a nursing parallel that is maybe a little less obvious (at least to non-nurses!). So let me try to do a bit of scriptural re-writing here:

Unless a nurse lets go of his/her assumptions about people and healthcare knowledge that is what they remain:
misunderstandings and jaded expectations of ‘soothing fevered brows.’ The barren field that follows is called, ‘Burn Out’ …
But, the proper burial of assumptions, letting them fall to the ground and be buried by pages of CEU readings, days of encountering new thoughts in e-zines and workshops, and hours of peer and expert mentorship with nurses experiencing encounters with people who are in need of nursing care with fresh eyes, grows such a rich understanding of nursing and justice for people.
Such a nurse will be raised to change the world by allowing all to see glimpses of the eternal in moments of encounter. These nurses will be meticulous in knowledgeable practice and reckless in engaged compassion.
Right now you may feel sucked into a whirlwind of staff needs and political worksites, so what are you going to say? “Creator God, get me outa here?!” No, you’ll realize that this is why you came to be a nurse: to authentically care, your assumptions must be ‘killed’ so that you’ll learn how to practice nursing on any battleground … Instead, you’ll say, “Creator God, let your glory transform me so that I can help my patients and my colleagues be transformed!”

Thanks for letting me for a few minutes into your whirlwind ... be encouraged in your nursing and in your world!


  1. Wow...that was amazing and a message that I needed to hear!!!

  2. Beautiful. Thanks. Dave and I were looking at Vince's FB page and discovered you and your blog. Look forward to more good reads.