One of the hardest parts of being in an ongoing national lockdown, here in the UK, is the lack of in-person interactions with those outside our households. The only option available is to take our daily exercise with a friend or family member. But it can only be one at a time – and it has to be socially distanced. (Of course!)

A few weekends ago, despite the plummeting temperatures, I agree to meet up with an old friend at a well known rural location, about halfway between where we both live.

Being a Sunday afternoon, both of us have failed to factor in that the car park might be busy – and I actually find it full to overflowing.

Reversing out of the car park, somewhat precariously, onto the county lane, I follow the example of others, parking up parallel, as soon as I find a big enough space. As I sit at a balance, car boot open, pulling on my walking boots, I hear a voice calling my name – and it doesn’t belong to the friend I am due to be meeting.

Looking up, I recognise an old friend, Emily*, who I haven’t seen in ages. She greets me warmly, as though it was only yesterday that we were last in touch.

It turns out, like me, she is meeting up with a friend for a walk. At this exact same spot. At this exact same time.

When our friends find us chatting, there is joy in the greetings. (We all used to attend the same church, more than a decade ago, and it’s been a long time since some of us have seen each other.) So we stride off together, two by two, in a socially distanced sort of way. But not in the pairings we had originally anticipated!

As I walk and talk with Emily, we quickly find ourselves taking a trip down memory lane, and we soon recall one particular lightthroughthecracks story, which bonded us together at the time …


We have gathered together, one autumn evening, to hear from a well-known Canadian Christian couple, John and Carol Arnott. The ancient church building, located in the city centre, is packed to capacity with people of all ages and stages of life. The space is light and airy, with its high ceiling and rows of chairs, instead of pews.

Both John and Carol teach us from the Bible, and then they invite people forward for prayer.

Emily is sitting between me and her then-boyfriend, now-husband, and she asks us to step forward with her, to give her some moral support.

Both of us, as with many of her friends, know that Emily has been living with a debilitating condition since she was born, although it was only detected when she was learning to walk as a toddler. Her legs are different lengths. There is less than one centimetre between them, but it’s enough to cause her prolonged pain, especially if she is standing or walking.

She doesn’t have to say that this is the reason she is stepping forward for prayer. We both know this instinctively, as I take up my position to her left, and her boyfriend stands to her right.

John and Carol are working their way along the line of people, one each, from opposite ends. John approaches from the right, and stands in front of us. With a smile, he starts to pray, inviting Jesus to come and be present.

“Jesus is showing me that one of your legs is a different length to the other,” he says to Emily, “and that it’s causing you excruciating back pain.” I turn my head to see her nodding her agreement.

He pauses a moment, and then continues, “Do you want to be taller or shorter?”

His word of knowledge* about Emily’s predicament has been spiritually discerned, and she is utterly unfazed by his direct question.

“Taller,” she says, without hesitation.

Her boyfriend and I watch in wonder, as John seeks Emily’s permission and kneels down on the carpeted floor, gently taking hold of the jeans that she’s wearing today, grasping them lightly around the ankles. His face is bowed down to the ground, and he is praying a passionate prayer, pleading with God for healing.

He has barely uttered the words, “in the name of Jesus”, when Emily lets out a yelp.

“What’s that burning sensation?” she cries.

“Perhaps it’s God healing you?” John suggests, looking up at her face, from his vantage point on the floor. “Maybe He’s lengthening your leg, making you taller, like you requested?”

He carries on praying, while her boyfriend and I look on – and, as we do so, we see her visibly straighten, suddenly realising she’s been ever so slightly lopsided.

Rising to his feet, John stands back and invites Emily to test her legs. “See if the one that’s been shorter is now the same length as the other one”, he invites her.

Stepping from one foot to the other, Emily is uncertain. It’s as if she is walking on hot coals, each time she presses on the leg that has been pulsating with such a strong burning sensation. Then she jumps up and down, two feet at a time, and her delighted face says all that needs saying.

“My back pain has gone”, she declares. “I think Jesus just lengthened my leg!”

John gives her a broad grin, points heavenward, and moves on to pray for the next person in the long line to my left.


“You know,” Emily muses, as we recall what happened that evening, “I told my GP about it, the next time I had an appointment, and she measured my legs.”

[Please note: For my non-British readers, a GP is a General Practitioner, a family doctor.]

She stops in her tracks and looks at me sideways, from her socially distanced vantage point. I stop in parallel and nod to indicate I’ve heard her, and then she continues, “It was amazing. My legs were exactly the same length. The shorter one had grown to match the other, and the GP couldn’t quite believe it.”

We both express wonder at what happened, and ask why we don’t recall such faith-building stories more often, and the conversation moves on to other topics.

We also intermingle, two by two, with the actual friends we had planned to meet with that day.


*A word about ‘words of knowledge’

A word of knowledge is one of the spiritual gifts that God gives to Christians, to build up the body of Christ. It is not an occult power, which some spiritual mediums claim. It is a gift that is exercised when the Holy Spirit of God provides information to someone about the condition of another person, in order that God might act, and get all the glory.

The gift of words of knowledge is mentioned four times in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 12:81 Corinthians 13:1-31 Corinthians 13:8, and 1 Corinthians 14:6. It is neither defined nor explained in any of these places. However, it is generally accepted that it can include the ability to know facts about a situation, or a spiritual principle, that could not have been known by natural means.

When it is used in this way, it is a gift that allows someone to see a person, or a situation, as God sees them, or it.


Have you got an ailment that has plagued you since birth or early childhood? Have you considered that Jesus might want to heal you? Why don’t you give your life to Jesus, and ask Him to work a miracle for you, in the same way as he did for Emily? And if you know someone in this situation, if you are a Christian, why don’t you offer to pray for them, in the name of Jesus, asking God to heal them?

As ever, please feel free to comment below!

*Not her real name.

Photo by JESHOOTS via Unsplash



  1. I have actually seen God lengthen a leg, whilst praying for someone. They were sat down and I had their feet in my hands and I felt the movement, as they also felt a burning in their thigh. God is so amazing. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Pingback: When a Shortened Leg Starts to Lengthen - Joanna Watson

Write A Comment