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Sent to Heal

August 13, 2020

“And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” Luke 9:2

Today brings us another commemoration as we give thanks for the lives of Florence Nightingale and Clara Maass, renewers of society.

Nightingale is likely more familiar to you; she certainly is to me. At the age of seventeen, she received a vision in which God called her to give her life to service. She trained with a Lutheran order of deaconesses in Kaiserwerth, Germany, and returned to England where she worked to reform hospitals. She was a pioneer in the use of statistical data. Along with thirty-other nurses, she worked in horrible conditions in the Crimean War.

Maass was from New Jersey. Like Nightingale, she is known for serving during war. She served as a nurse during the Spanish-American War, where she witnessed the ravages of yellow fever. She died of yellow fever, which she contracted through her voluntary service as a human test subject. Maass was twenty-five when she died. Her death created an outcry and led to the end of using human subjects to research yellow fever.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, nursing was done primarily by people with little training and few other vocational options. Thanks to Nightingale, Maass, and others, nursing developed into the professional and compassionate vocation that it is today. As we commemorate these women, we give thanks for those who serve as nurses in our time, selflessly and expertly caring for others in the midst of the pandemic.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of healing, thank you for the service of those who bring healing to others. May the hands of Jesus be upon all those who suffer, and may you lift up compassionate healers to bring care to those in need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Lady with the Lamp (Miss Nightingale at Scutari, 1854), Henrietta Rae, 1891 (public domain).

From → COVID-19

One Comment
  1. Ruth Reko permalink

    Thanks for the memorial today of the 2 women as representatives of the thousands of nurses, deaconesses, deacons and other faithful women & men who have given bravely in service to the infirm and dying here and around the world. This work sometimes gets overlooked by our church but it deserves the fine words and attention you have given today.

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