I told you that I’m hopeless at keeping a diary, blog. However, having had enough hints dropped on me I thought I better write something soon to keep certain people quiet.

Those who know me will know that one of the great struggles – challenges – of my life is to find out how it is that God calls me to live my life according to God’s plan for me; because I do believe in the concept of vocation, the belief that each one of us is called to live our lives in dedication to the service of others. Or as the motto of the Mater Hospitals I’ve recently commenced employment with Pro Deo Et Humanitate – for God and Humanity. I think it was Frederick Buechner who said that a person’s vocation is found when their deepest passion meets the world’s greatest need. Again, those that know me will know of my passion for remote area nursing. Some will say what is the attraction in dust, flies and endless isolation.

I recently undertook a 7 week remote area nursing locum up on the Cape York Peninsula of North Queensland. The community was once an Anglican Mission but is now under the control of the traditional owners. It is here that one can see the same faces of the sick, poor and marginalised that Christ himself walked among. For Jesus, Francis of Assisi and others God exists in these faces and it is our duty to care for all humanity; especially the least among us. It is in these traditional people that I find a closeness with God’s commission; to care for poor and dispossed.

I see them as people who are trying to find a way to live between two worlds. A world of their ancestors and the stories of the dreamtime from whence comes their rich spirituality. And a world of colonisation and the stories of a child who would be King. Living between these worlds seems to have created a place of confusion and disorientation, spiritually, culturally, evolutionally etc. This disorientation has created effects such as poor health, high mortality and morbidity and lack of identity. Part of my sense of calling to be in these communities is a way to be with them in this stuggle. If I can do one thing its ‘to be’.

Presence is perhaps one of the greatest gifts one can offer, indeed the Gospel is replete of the ministry of presence between Jesus and the people the rest of society tried to forget. As a nurse, one of the ways in which I can express presence is to simply be there when someone is sick, hurt or injured. Sometimes, like Jesus at ‘the well’ what we can offer is not only water that gives relief to thirst but might also open the possibility of the acceptance to the offer of ‘life giving water’. It is in these moments of presence that I feel my deepest passion meets the world’s greatest need; at least for the small part of the world I experience. So for me, the time up north was more than a simple locum job, it was a small experience in sensing God’s call for me in my life. I’ll be ever greatful for the welcome I received there and the offer to come again soon. I will, in the mean time, miss being present in that place. For now, its time to experience life in a different world. To experience presence in my new role as an emergency nurse. Perhaps it too will be part of the way in which God continues to reveal God’s divine plan in my life.

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