Q: Could you give some helpful guidelines regarding telephone and e-mail communications between patient and practitioner?
A: Individuals contact Christian Science practitioners with a wide range of needs, come from diverse backgrounds, and represent all levels of spiritual understanding and development. Knowing what and how much to say to a patient, and how to say it, is a skill that develops with practice—no matter how long one has been a practitioner. I find myself turning to the opening lines of a poem by A. E. Hamilton that Mary Baker Eddy quoted in her book Retrospection and Introspection: "Ask God to give thee skill/In comfort's art" (p. 95).
It's such a sacred relationship—the relationship between practitioner and patient—because its purpose is to bring healing through a prayerful realization of the patient's sacred relation to God as His loved child. So the whole question of communication between practitioner and patient needs to be approached with love and nurtured in prayer. Whatever communication takes place between them, it is the living Word of God, divine Love, that most needs to be heard, because Love is the healer.