Journal Week 29: Nursing and Love

If you've read Unclean you know that I'd think nursing a person through illness is, perhaps, the quintessential expression of love. Parents understand this, given how much of their time is spent nursing sick children. But we've all had to, at some point, nurse another person.

The focus on Unclean is how nursing brings us into radical contact with another person's body when that body isn't at it's most lovely and attractive, to put it nicely. Things about bodies that we'd typically lean away from, in a neutral setting, are ignored or not even noticed in order to move close to take care of the person we are nursing.

But nursing isn't just about overcoming body-related sensory triggers. Nursing is the quintessential expression of love in that it makes you radically available to the other person. By definition, nursing can't be selfish. Your focus is wholly upon the needs of the person you are caring for. It's this radical availability and other-orientedness that makes nursing such an example of self-giving, sacrificial love.

So, what's the reason for why I'm writing about nursing?

I get to be a nurse for the next few weeks!

Jana had some surgery this week (nothing life-threatening) that requires me to be a pretty attentive and devoted nurse for the next two weeks. Since the surgery was planned, I knew this season was coming, and I've been looking forward to embracing it. Beyond Jana's health and happiness, my biggest focus has been on meeting the challenge of being a good nurse.

So please say a prayer for both of us.

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