Heart Words

April 11, 2023

Heart Words


“Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ loved us…” (Ephesians 5:1-2, BSB).


Small, thin, older, she was seated in the chair as I examined her adult, mentally challenged son. He had survived an incredibly difficult cancer. As they rose to leave, she waved me toward her with the fingers of her left hand. Reaching up, she wrapped her arms around my shoulders, her head barely reaching my shoulders, and whispered, “You got my heart.”


What a blessing to hear such words. We all do from time to time, but still a blessing when they come.


What did she mean by: “You got my heart”?


I suppose it means she sees our relationship is more than transactional.


I suppose it means she trusts me to do what is best.


I suppose it means she cares for me, or she would not have risked offering herself for the hug.


Perhaps it had something to do with the cross on my lapel.


All that she meant, I do not know, but it felt good. It felt like I was the doctor I had dreamed of being when I entered medical school, what most doctors and healthcare professionals dream of being when they begin.


I’m a bit worried that her words felt so good, like they were unexpected and spoken less frequently than I would expect.


Why would they not be commonplace in my practice?


What might I do to make them so, not to make me feel good more often, but to confirm my success as a Christian doctor on a constant basis?


There are several practical skills I could list, but I think it comes down to three principals to which those skills point.


I must do my job very well.


I must genuinely love my patients.


I must take time in each visit to demonstrate that love.

What do I need to change to get there?


Dear Father,

Help me make the time to love.


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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