The Holy Spirit and Nursing

The News Magazine of HBU

By Abigail Hester, Adjunct Professor in Nursing

There is such beauty in the human body. The created individual that is reflecting our triune God. The minute parameters that are required to keep this body at peace were intentionally and precisely placed only to be investigated and learned through the study of physiology. We get to witness the wonder God placed in every person, and as we know more, our worship only intensifies. As a result of learning how the body is supposed to work, we are also confronted by the impact of sin in the world and within man. The insult of disease, the result of sin, reveals our depravity and has been doing so very acutely during our current season. The weight of this understanding of what should be and what is because of sin in the world creates a unique place for the nurse who knows the Lord and sees the disparity upon the people they get to care for. Disease permits the nurse to intervene in a person’s life and to impact them for life here on earth and potentially for eternity. We have been given the honor to enter into the life of another soul at a very critical point in life. For some, it is one of the worst days of their lives, for others, it is one of the best. In both instances, the Lord has primed people to have a moment of reflection on their life, to see where they are and what they are committed to. And He has primed the nurse to be present in this moment, available to guide people to listen to that pull they are identifying that is drawing them to the heart of Jesus, even if they do not yet realize it.

This concept is not typically taught in nursing schools, nor really any other school for that matter. It is not part of major curriculum or even part of any licensure exam. It is a lesson that is grown through awareness and practice. An awareness of the Holy Spirit moving and pulling the individual nurse to step forward and address what the Spirit has plucked them to say or do. A practice of following that obedience over the standard of today’s expectations to avoid making waves. (This awareness and practice is for all believers, and often it is the patient that gets to impact the nurse’s world for eternity). HBU in particular has taken great steps to help grow and equip nursing students to learn how to address the pull of the Spirit and to integrate faith into nursing practice from connections with faith-based organizations within the greater Houston community. I personally had a great opportunity to precept HBU nursing students at one such organization, The Source – Houston. Here, the staff incorporates a body, mind and spirit approach to women’s healthcare.

As the nurse, the student had to tap into the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives, paying attention to the unique and present needs they saw in each individual they cared for. They took time to pray for each patient alongside the practitioner and included in the report to ancillary team members the needs they assessed for the patient. It was a joy for me to get to witness students come to understand how to integrate their faith with their nursing practice, even if it did not result in direct salvation conversations each time. They walked away with a greater connection to the movement of the Holy Spirit and got to learn tangible ways to apply this to their roles in other settings as well.

Now, reader, I implore you to take a moment and reflect and ponder how the Spirit is moving in your own life. How have you integrated your faith into your day-to-day life? When you interact with others, are you praying for them? Are you paying attention to what God is doing in their lives and in looking to see if you may be asked to intercede? Do you listen to them and carry their concerns to the Lord on their behalf? — “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NIV).

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