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Musings on Florence Nightingale

August 12, 2018

When I was a child I spent a lot of time in hospital. The care was amazing, so ever since, I’ve had great admiration for those who work in caring professions. With that in mind I noticed that today the church is remembering Florence Nightingale, the woman credited with founding modern nursing.

Many of the things that Florence Nightingale campaigned for seem like common sense now. Clean wards and good food all seems so basic, so ordinary, but then some of the greatest insights are like that. Florence Nightingale not only worked to change nursing, she also showed human care and love to those who were suffering.

People often ask me what to say or do when they visit someone who is very ill, or dying or what to say to relatives when someone has died. There is no formula; it feels wrong to think that there could be. No, there is just you and the person that you are with. There are no simple answers either. Just human compassion.

But then human compassion, and a taste of the ordinary are often the best medicine, just as Florence Nightingale found. Holding a hand, chatting about football or the dog; a prayer if they have faith. Simple reminders of the hope they already have, and comfort for the unknown. These go a long way; like a smile.

The Bible says, laugh with those who laugh and cry with those who cry (see Romans 12.15). Love, and then love some more. It all seems so basic, so ordinary, … so true.

God bless…

Broadcast on Park Radio 11th August 2018 (

One Comment
  1. Jean black permalink

    Very thought provoking

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