Parish Nurse Health Tips for December 4, 2016


This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:5 ESV

I am a cheerleader for mid-December when the days start to get longer and light begins to peek through earlier in the morning and last later at night!  Each year as our days get shorter, I hear from so many about issues with driving at night; electric bills being so high when lights are on longer and longer; falls that happen in the dreary dark times when walkways are not visible and toys that are trip hazards in the dark. Participating in the many wonderful activities of the Christmas season is limited for many because of night vision issues.

The ‘season’ of increased darkness is even given a name in medical terminology:  seasonal affective disorder- a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. In our daily walk with health issues we find that all of them are seemingly more difficult to deal with in the season of darkness.

In my personal devotions in recent days, the authors have often referred to this time of year, but with a different approach that brings the focus back to where it should be in all of us.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV

Can you just see the faces of the wise men, shepherds, and kings as they are suddenly blinded by the light of the guiding star?  We teach our children a song, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”  We place a light called an eternal flame in the altar area of our church that indicates the presence of Christ in the sanctuary.  We especially see evidence of light as we decorate our sanctuary to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

So, I am sure you are wondering where the parish nurse is going to connect this dismal dark season and all the ills that are noted with it, to caring for the body that is given to us by God to care for in our earthly journey.

We are all too familiar with ads on TV, in magazines, and even in the mail telling us of all the medications that will do wonders for us as we seek a healthier mind and body.  One thread that I am finding missing as we weave the garment of our life, is the spiritual strength and focus that is so very necessary for us to grow in Him as He walks with us each day.

Our light should always be shining on what He has given to us, even in the darkest of times.  Our focus should be first on Him.  I find my days of preschool teacher memories springing to the forebrain with a song we sang so often: ”I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart…to stay.”

I pray that you are able to find your peace, strength and focus first and foremost on Jesus in your heart as you walk through the season of darkness toward the wonderful season of the light of Jesus that cannot be hidden.

Blessing on all of you in this Advent season of renewed faith and focus.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School,