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Thank You Cards

March 22, 2022

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:20, NIV).

I received a thank you card from a grateful patient today, as all of us do from time to time. This one was special. It began, “Moments. They are what make up a life. 30 years of life with my husband—raising our sons and serving the Lord together….” She then proceeded to trace the vital events in those 30 years when I had been caring for her, moments of joy and moments of crisis. She ended with, “A life full of moments, God moments, life and love moments, that I never would have had if you had not been there, letting the Lord use you to heal me.”

This note is not a pat on my back. It’s an opportunity for all of us to realize what we are doing.

I was watching 1883 last night, a western series with Sam Elliot, one of my favorite actors.

He and another cowboy are leading a wagon train of German immigrants to Oregon. Many are dying. It’s a hard gig for the two cowboys. When Sam questions why they are doing this, his partner responds with something like, “Someday, one of the children of one of the people who survives this trek is going to grow up and do something good, be somebody. That’s why we are doing this.”

The point is: we are not just healing diseases. Like this thank you card and that western, we are building lives with the Lord that move out from them and into a future, a future for their good and His glory. We are not just touching the biology in front of us, though that biology has eternal significance. We are touching the history in front of us—the history of one for whom we care and the history of all the people for whom he or she cares. And we are touching the kingdom of God. “Someday, one of the children of one of the people” for whom we care will grow up and “do something good, be somebody.”

This is a blessing and a challenge.

The blessing is that God is doing something wonderful through our lives. Believe it. Live it. Take whatever burnout you might have and blend this truth into it.

The challenge is that we must remain aware of the amazing ripple effect of our healthcare ministry. When our patients move into God’s history, under our care, have we made them stronger, more faithful, more able to impact their families and the world for Christ? Will the ground we till for them produce 30, 60 or even 100 times what was sown? Will God’s kingdom be stronger after we are gone because we were healthcare professionals?

Make it so.

Dear God,
Use me. Thank you. Let me be faithful.

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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