When you are in hospital there is nothing more re-assuring than an attentive, caring nurse. It is comforting when the nurse remembers your name, and when he or she spends personal time with you.
Not too long ago the nursing scene used to be very different. Patients were referred to more often by their medical condition, not by their name. For example, one could be "the appendix in bed 9" or "the leg amputee in bed 6". We can thank Lady Jean McFarlane, who died a few weeks ago, for introducing a new personal approach to patients as well as for many other advances in nursing. Jean, a committed Christian as well as a pioneering, dedicated nurse, was England’s first professor of nursing. She did much to promote the caring profession. She encouraged UK-trained nurses (and doctors!) to treat patients in a more warm and friendly way.
This reminds me of the fact that often traditional Christianity portrays God as coldly identifying people as sinners. It is as if God is more concerned about our faults than he is about us personally. Does God look at our address and think of us as "the liar on 42nd street" or "the thief in flat 91"? No, he does not. This is as far from how God is as the east is from the west. God's constant view of us is one of compassion and caring.
The Bible tells us that God "has not dealt with us according to our sins" (Psalm 103:10 NKJ). Not that God ignores our sins. He has dealt with them already by forgiving them in Christ Jesus, who, in all that he did and thought, reflected completely the mind of God our Father. Throughout his ministry Jesus had personal time for people and called them by their name, not by their problems.
It is the same today. Jesus, who is God with the Father, does not list you according to your sins. Just as a good nurse stands attentively by your bedside, so Jesus is beside you spiritually, comforting you, and holding your hand.
No matter what terrible condition any of us may be in, be re-assured by our loving, gentle Saviour, who knows your name.
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