As I reflect on my experience as a Christian Science nurse, the word grace comes to me. Defining grace with words is hard, but you know it when it’s there. Though the sting of its absence may seem sharp, this simply means that grace is familiar and palpable enough that one knows when it’s not being expressed. In truth, grace is always present, but I’ve learned that I have to allow it to move in my life.
The Greek meaning of the word grace in Strong’s Concordance reads, “… the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.” Embracing the impulse of this divine influence while assessing the right course to meet a patient’s need is a healing power in the work of Christian Science nursing. I like to think of grace as the law of divine Love. In an article from The Christian Science Journal called, “Law,” the author explains that in Christian Science, God’s law is “the cord of lovingkindness” that unites divine Mind with its idea” (Reuben Pogson, December 1911). I’ve found that the divine law of Love, God’s grace, links the desire to properly care for another with the practical knowledge for how to carry out that desire.
There are countless examples of grace seen and felt in our daily lives. The other day, I was talking with an airline agent about a complicated booking. During this exchange, I tangibly felt a sense of grace. The tone of the agent’s voice, his graciousness to hear what I said, his patience, and his helpful answers to my questions, were full of such goodness. I felt so uplifted and cared for that I, too, began to feel more compassionate, more patient. That conversation made me feel that all those good attributes he was expressing belonged to everyone, including me. It was grace in action; a universal and impartial blessing to all. It was more than a nice person doing his job well. It was the law of divine Love being fulfilled and proof of its purpose to bless.