Clinical care comes with a unique set of stresses. We enter into the worlds of our patients and experience their suffering 'by proxy'. Add to that the challenges of meeting needs that often cannot be met (continuous external scrutiny, peer pressure, uncontrollable workloads, dysfunctional institutional and professional relationships), and you have a toxic mix.
Of course, Christians get along just fine, don't they? Or do they? We are no less human than the next person, and while we do have 'all the resources of heaven' at our disposal, it often feels like we have hopelessly lost the key and simply don't know which way to turn. Even the hardiest survivor among us can get worn down by the continuous attrition of clinical life.
But what if you could see things the way God sees them? What if you could see God's wisdom in a given situation? What if you could talk things through with others who understand? Who could say 'I have been through the same things and learnt how God's grace works'? What if you could learn how to access divine resources to regain the energy and vision you need to make a difference in an otherwise broken situation?
How much is being lost because Christian medics are limping along carrying heavy loads because no one has asked how God might have us do things to share the burden, or even discard things that we were never intended to carry in the first place?
It's a big issue, and while local churches are central to addressing this, CMF understands there is a need for specialised care to understand and support the unique position of Christian health workers. The CMF Pastoral Care Programme is a first step to meeting these needs. This autumn, the Graduate Ministries team will be working on mapping what is required and identifying and developing resources that can be used to support the development of pastoral care networks.
It's a challenging area. The team would value your prayers for wisdom and God's help to see this make progress, and come to fruition. We would also value your responses to surveys and polls we plan to send out over the next few months - these are vital to understanding where we should direct our efforts. Some of you may already share this burden for pastoral care and feel led to help. If so, please get in touch with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org