Theme: Embracing the Refiner's Fire through Faithful Service
By: Prof. Dinah B. Peñaflorida
President of the Silliman University College of Nursing Alumni Association, Inc. and Professor of Nursing at the Santa Monica College, California
(Message delivered on July 14, 2014 at the Silliman University Church during the pinning and candlelighting ceremony of the College of Nursing.)
My deep appreciation for inviting me to this momentous occasion as the Class of 2017, all 56 members
strong, will light a candle and dedicate themselves individually and collectively, to the tradition of excellence in nursing at Silliman, ‘’tatak’’ SUCN – true to our university motto of Via, Veritas, Vita.
Welcome to the universe of the nursing profession! You have embarked on a special journey of the academic rigors that is Silliman style and to challenge you like a hammer on the gold to polish it and make it shine in your clinical practice under the guidance of your very capable clinical instructors and professors.
As you light your candle to dedicate yourself today, remember it is your rite-to-passage, it is beyond special – it is sacred.
What is nursing that you must dedicate your self into it?
Nursing has 3 sides: it is a science, it is also an art and most of all it is a spirit. The science side of nursing is the use of technology, the acquisition of skills and competence to be safe and the ability to make clinical judgment that is accurate and one that promotes health and well-being. Example: From Dean MCR – to accept responsibility it must be ENTWINED with authority. The emphasis credits goes to Dean MCR. According to Dr. Luz Sobong-Porter, the knowledge I learned it that you can stimulate growth and to nurture and enhance human development.
The art side of nursing is when nurses can deliver the business of caring for patients with compassion and understanding. I learned from my Fundamentals of Nursing, from the late Mrs. Lourdes Quial that the correct way of holding the bedpan is to hold your head erect, observe body mechanics and hold that bedpan as if you are carrying the crown jewels of Queen Elizabeth! It does not matter what smells or what is inside the bedpan!
Most of all Nursing is a spirit. What drives you to become an exceptional nurse, is the spirit. We used to have a cheering squad at SUCN and our signature chant was: “Have you got that spirit? Yeah man!” We won many trophies chanting that cheer. It’s the history, the tradition, the meaning of nursing within you that drives that spirit. Through the years of my experience as a nurse, I learned that patients do not want a scientist at the bedside, nor they want an emotional nurse that cries with their pain and suffering – no not at all, it’s the nurse who is spiritually grounded that makes a difference. The nurse extraordinaire – is one who embraced, the refiner’s fire through faithful service.
In the chorus of your chosen class song, and I quote: “The Refiner’s fire, has now become my soul desire. Purged and cleansed and purified, that the Lord be glorified.”
Beautiful lines. Remember to etched that in your heart and in the memory bank of your temporal lobes.
The Christian meaning of pain and suffering is being a refiner’s fire. It will sink in your soul when you live it….when you share it on the experiential level which has resonance on your life experience as a nurse, it does not matter whether one is novice or expert in nursing.
Your class song continues and I quote: “He is consuming my soul, refining me, making me whole. No matter what I may lose, I choose the Refiner’s fire.”
These lines indicate complete surrender to God, indication God’s centrality in your life.
You are believing at the heart level in the blessed assurance of God’s loving presence. God being always there for us – rain or shine. Today as you light that candle, make a pledge to surrender all that you are, all that you will ever be to God. Believe that God is accompanying you in your life’s journey. By doing that, you are trusting in God’s constant faithfulness and merciful grace despite of our own sinfulness and because of our own weaknesses.