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November 30, 2021

“So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth…That is why it was called Babel…” (Genesis 11:8-9, NIV).

This was his first trip back to the clinic after COVID-19 had thrown him into the hospital. He is patient, friend, African American and follower of Christ.

“Thank God you survived that,” I offered.

“I do thank God,” he said. “I know that He was the one who brought me through it.”

He wore an interesting black t-shirt, on which he had asked a friend to inscribe:

God made us all human
Race disconnected us
Religion separated us
Politics divided us
Wealth classified us

And on the front pocket was printed one word, “God.”

It’s amazing how we have separated ourselves as human beings, though we have far more similarities than we have differences. The same God created all of us in His image.

We are miraculously alike in form and molecular structure, in dreams and aspirations, in knowledge of good and evil, and in sin.

It is this sin that separates us, the desire to be our own masters depicted in Eden, and the scattering born from pride depicted at Babel. Because of sin, that which we pursue to satisfy our dreams has led us to competition and distrust. We have turned from God and are thus required to seek our own security, stealing it from others when the world has such a scant supply.

Though implied by my patient’s shirt, neither race, nor religion, nor politics, nor wealth are evil in themselves. It is our sin, distorting the pursuit of each, that separates us and causes us to be distrustful of each other. As C.S. Lewis puts it in Mere Christianity: “Pleasure, money, power, and safety are all, as far as they go, good things…wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way.”

We claim the goodness of that we seek, ignoring the sin of our method to accomplish it, thus separating ourselves from those who hinder our desires. Therefore, the key to unity is the destruction of our sin, and that can only be accomplished through the One who died to unify us all in the Father who loves us all.

Dear God,
Cleanse me of the sin in my life that prevents me from loving those who interfere with my dreams.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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