April 11, 2023
“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?
Help me make the time to love.