FUEL FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Next door to St. Thomas' Hospital in London, a small museum celebrates the life of Florence Nightingale, the woman who is credited with founding the modern profession of nursing. Some years ago, when I visited it with a friend who is Nightingale's fifth cousin—and also a nurse—I gained an appreciation for her being mentioned in Mary Baker Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The two women were contemporaries, and—each in her own way—devoted to helping and healing humanity, although Florence Nightingale lived in England and Mary Baker Eddy lived in the United States.
Before Florence Nightingale became involved in nursing in the mid-1880s, the profession was considered a menial pursuit that required virtually no training. Nurses were often recruited from the ranks of street women, where alcoholism and immorality were prevalent. That a young woman from a good family would choose such a career was horrifying to Florence Nightingale's family. But she felt a genuine calling, and she stayed with her convictions.