From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Faith


Nurses—one of the few blessings of being ill.

~Sara Moss-Wolfe

The real power of healing is not about curing diseases. This was revealed to me by a male nurse who spent a lot of time with a woman in a nursing home who hadn’t been able to walk for six years. Edward lifted her in and out of her chair or into the bed, depending on her schedule.

She always wanted to talk about God and forgiveness. Because Edward had had a near-death experience, he felt comfortable doing this.

One night it was so late that Edward slipped out without being the one to put her to bed. He was heading for his car in the parking lot when he heard her call, “Edward!” He snuck back inside and into her room.

“Are you sure God forgives us for everything?” she asked.

“Yes, I’m sure, from my own experience,” he said. “You know the gospel song that tells us, ‘He knows every lie that you and I have told, and though it makes him very sad to see the way we live, he’ll always say “I forgive.”’”

She sighed. “When I was a young woman, I stole my parents’ silver and sold it so I would have enough money to get married. I’ve never told anyone and no one ever found out. Will God forgive me?”

“Yes,” Edward reassured her. “God will forgive you. Good night.”

When Edward returned to work the next morning, he was told to see the administrator who asked what he had told the woman the night before.

“As usual,” Edward explained, “we talked about God and forgiveness. Why?”

“At 3:00 A.M. the woman came out of her room and, with no help, walked the entire length of the nursing home, put her Bible and teeth on the nurse’s desk and said, ‘I don’t need these any more.’ Then she turned and walked back to her room, laid down and died.”

This is what the soul of nursing is all about, the reason God created a world where we can all be nurses by showing our compassion and empathy for the wounded.

~Bernie Siegel

Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul

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