Witness by Proxy

March 26, 2019

“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus would not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’” (Mark 5:18-19, NIV 1984).


Jimmy’s survival was a miracle. His ICU doctor bet me a Mercedes he would not survive. That was three years ago. Jimmy was in my office today and that ICU doctor still hasn’t paid up.

I told him that his survival was indeed a miracle.


“It was you and the good Lord,” he said.


“Mostly the good Lord,” I answered. “He certainly did the work of healing you.”


“By the way,” I added, “You need to go out there and tell people what the Lord has done for you.”


“I sure will,” he promised.


Our primary witness as healthcare professionals is to our patients. Through spiritual histories, faith flags, faith stories and loving care, we seek to bring them to the place where they meet Jesus. Most of us don’t do this very well, but the Holy Spirit is working in ways we cannot. I suspect many of us will be surprised when we meet in heaven those whom we have nudged toward Jesus unaware. I certainly pray so, as I also pray that I also might be a bolder, more intentional witness for Christ.


I have only recently realized that we have an additional opportunity for effective witness. Jesus not only impacted the lives of those whom He touched and healed, but He also impacted the lives of those to whom the healed spoke of His power. Just so, the patients we treat can be conduits of our gospel message. If I make clear to my patients the divine source of their healing, I can then encourage them to tell others of God’s great work in their lives. God’s spirit can then empower them with the gospel to reach people I may never see, and God will have another tool to turn the soil in His garden. This would be a second step beyond, “God healed you, not I.”


Dear God,

Thank you for the opportunity to share your good news. Let it be multiplied by those with whom I share. And let me be bold in sharing.


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.