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How to Talk About Miracles

Here’s a helpful tool to help doctors handle discussions about miracles.

A doctor comforting a patient

Doctors are trained to handle pretty much any medical question posed by a patient. “Which course of treatment do you recommend?” “Will it hurt?” “What’s the recovery process like?”  

But what happens when patients start talking about something a little less concrete–like miracles? That’s when things can get tricky, especially if the doctor doesn’t believe in the miraculous.

Luckily, a medical team at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center has come up with a handy mnemonic tool–called AMEN (Affirm, Meet, Educate, No matter what)–to help doctors better handle discussions about miracles. After all, hospitals are no strangers to the miraculous. God’s wonder certainly seems to reach us most when we’re at our lowest. And spirituality can play a significant role in a patient’s recovery process.

AMEN is a four-step process. It starts by affirming the beliefs of a patient; then meeting the patient or their family where they are–including, sometimes, in prayer; then educating patients as a medical provider; then, no matter what, assuring patients of a commitment to them.

“I use the AMEN mnemonic pretty much every day,” Dr. Thomas Smith, director of palliative medicine at Johns Hopkins, told Time. “Maybe my patients need more miracles than other doctors’ patients, but it is a common occurrence and an underlying theme in many people’s lives.”

That got me thinking: Maybe the AMEN method shouldn’t be limited to doctors. I have a feeling it can work wonders for us non-medical folks too. After all, don’t we all need a reminder to stay open-minded to miracles, especially in our encounters with others?

When a friend asks for advice and mentions miracles, it’s easy to look for a more practical solution and secretly think the worst. But maybe we can take a different approach. Acknowledge the need for a miracle, meet together in prayer, explore all options for a solution and stay supportive… no matter what. A prescription for hope.

So the next time someone tells me they’re wishing, praying, searching for a miracle? I’m going to answer with a resounding AMEN!

How do you talk miracles with others? Share your story below!

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Walking in Grace 2023 Devotional

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We wanted to let you know that we have changed the name of Daily Guideposts to Walking in Grace —(Don’t worry — we promise it is the ONLY change we’ve made!)

Walking in Grace 2023 is the perfect way to start or end each day, focusing on God’s love, and connecting you to a community of writers and readers. Each daily devotion will bless you with a short Scripture verse that draws you into His word, a true moving story about the joys and challenges of living a life of faith, hope, and optimism, a short personal prayer that helps you put the day’s message to work in your own life, and a unique “Digging Deeper” Scripture for further reflection.

In just a few minutes a day, Walking in Grace 2023 will help you find the spiritual richness you long for in your life.

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