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No Wasted Miracles

September 21, 2021

“Jesus did not let him [go with him], but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you’” (Mark 5:19, NIV). His broken neck was doing okay today with adequate pain meds. The cancer that had once been “cured” and then returned was now gone for over two years, a miracle in my scientific mind. “I don’t know why God blessed you with one of His miracles,” I said. “I hope you are using it well.” “Oh, we are,” the wife answered. He added, “Every time I go to AA, I tell them how God has blessed me, what He has done to heal me. I always slip a little God in their back pockets before they leave.” Most of us are not gifted evangelists, though I have known a few physicians who are, who can bring people to Christ day after day in their offices. I believe these are handed a special gift by the Holy Spirit. But…I realize that one day I may face my Lord and hear Him tell me, “That should have been you except for your lack of boldness.” God has sent all of us into the world with the touch and message of Jesus Christ. We need to pray for boldness and for discernment as we do so. Like my patient above, we should never leave a patient or a neighbor without “slipping a little God in their back pockets.” We do so if we offer a loving touch and sacrificial service untainted by a selfish seeking for time or money. We do so if we provide better care than any non-Christian can offer, because our work is excellent, and the love that flows through us from Christ is obvious. We do so by taking a spiritual history, “Are you a person with religious faith? How important is that to you? Does your faith effect the way you want us to handle your medical issues?” We do so with “faith flags,”* such as, “I’ve been praying for you and working for you. Thank God you are well again.” We do so with “faith stories,”* such as, “My daughter was seriously ill once. I remember how we used the best science possible and also gathered around her asking God to heal her. He did.” We do so as we offer to pray with them, with their permission, after we’ve laid out our management plan, “Do you mind if I pray for you?” With such prayer we not only bring the Creator of all biology into the room with them, but we also let them know they are worth far more than a biological success or a new golf bag we can purchase with their fee. And we do so, pleading with God even before we enter the room, for His Spirit to empower us to share the name, Jesus, before they leave. “You know I’m a Christian. Jesus loves you.” We may or may not get the full gospel story out to many of our patients. I wish I could and rarely do. But we all can, with each patient who visits, “slip a little God in their back pockets before they leave.” Dear Father, Let me never let a patient or neighbor leave without a word and touch of Your truth. Amen.   *Announcing Faith Prescriptions Free to Current Members of CMDA New to the resources provided by CMDA is a new video series called Faith PrescriptionsSM (FaithRx). This 25-part video series (featuring 10 core sessions) provides training on everything from LGBTQ issues in the healthcare arena, to praying with your patients and sharing your faith in ethical and appropriate ways with colleagues and patients.

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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