Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A remarkable healing

Our church is one big hallelujah at the moment.

Tom, a young man who lives in one of our communities went blind six months ago, due to a rare, genetically-inherited condition called Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. It was very hard for his friends to see him suffering - and, of course, desperately difficult for Tom himself.

On Sunday night, Tom reached a breakthrough moment and re-committed himself to Jesus. This, in itself, was cause for joy as Tom found he was able to reach beyond the pain and literal darkness of the past six months and place his trust in Jesus again. But who would have predicted what followed?

Waking very early in the morning, Tom found to his astonishment - and excitement - that he could see! It wasn't long before the whole house was awake. It was true! Tom can see! Celebrations erupted. Yesterday the news was spreading round our churches.

This was the account given by Ian Clifford, the pastor of Tom's community:

"Tom came to faith in Jesus beginning of last year. Soon after he lost his sight in one eye and then a couple of weeks after lost sight in the other. The doctors diagnosed it as Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. He could see literally a few inches in front of him but that was very blurred and could only recognise some slight colour. His eyes couldn't cope with any form of light and had to keep his eyes covered with sunglasses.

"The doctors said he'd be permanently like this. Many people have been praying ever since.

"In the midst of all this he continued to live for Jesus although at times his faith was shaken. Last night he re-dedicated his life to Jesus afresh and then woke up at 5:15 to go to the toilet. Suddenly realised he could see and woke the whole house, we've been celebrating ever since."

I had the privilege of seeing Tom later that day, just briefly, through the window of my workplace. But - get this! - Tom saw me! He waved at me. My eyes welled with tears, I don't mind saying.

Should we be surprised? After all, we believe in miracles. We're supposed to expect them. We sing about them. We pray for them. But, flog the dogs, when a blind man sees - a blind man we know and love and have prayed for many times - that's cause for celebration.

Read the accounts of Tom's close friends: Aidan's is here (with some fascinating details from Tom's journey to healing as well); Jane's is here. Nathan's is here.

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