I have been invited to speak to an inter-church group, who have gathered together in their local village hall.

Feeling nervous and unsure about what to expect, a few of us are sharing a meal together before the meeting starts, when a man called Ed is introduced to me as the worship leader for the evening.

“He also has an amazing testimony of healing,” I’m told.

Ed and I soon start chatting. He is warm and friendly; his manner is easy and approachable. Snippets of his story soon start to come out, and he assures me he’ll be sharing it in full in the main meeting. My interest has been piqued.

As we clear up the meal, and set the room up for the meeting, people start to arrive, most of them in the older generation. Ed is in his forties, but he has a rapport with them, which speaks volumes.

He sensitively leads us in worship, singing and strumming on his guitar – and, as he does so, there is a tangible sense of the presence of God dwelling in the room. Such beautiful praise has paved the way for the sharing of testimony stories – and that’s what happens next, when Ed shares his …


“I was born with a short left leg,” he tells us, “and it’s such an unusual case that I nearly made it into an orthopaedic text book.”

The reasons were complex, but the reality was that Ed grew up with his left leg shorter than his right leg. “I never knew it any other way,” he says.

When Ed reached adulthood and stopped growing, the length of his legs was officially measured at an orthopaedic hospital. The left one was 5cm shorter than the right.

“From then on, I always wore a big left shoe to compensate and help me balance,” he explains.

Photo: Ed’s own

When Ed was a five-year-old, a family tragedy led his mum to find faith in Jesus and, later in his childhood, he too became a Christian.

But it never occurred to him that his leg could be anything other than the way it was. It simply wasn’t an issue.

Many years later, as Ed was heading for 30, God decided to do the unexpected, bringing “light through the cracks” to his situation.


When his church announces that they will be hosting a women’s conference, Ed volunteers to lead worship.

Sitting in the front row, he is surrounded by a sea of women, acutely aware that he’s the only man in the room. At the end of the meeting, as he gently plays the piano, the women start pouring forward for prayer ministry. There has been a specific call for any in need of healing.

Towards the end of the prayer ministry time, he eases himself away from the piano, and plucks up courage to ask for prayer for himself. Sitting with his legs out horizontal in front of him, two women are praying for him, when his left leg unexpectedly starts moving around.

Suddenly a woman leaps to her feet. “We have a miracle over here,” she announces excitedly, in a strong Irish accent, gesturing in Ed’s direction.

“I had the sense that God was doing something in my left leg, because of the way it was jerking about,” Ed tells us, “but when the Irish lady made her declaration, I found myself denying it, and the jerking movements stopped.” 

Ed notices no difference in his leg, and carries on life as before.


Three years later, for some inexplicable reason, Ed enters the year with a sense that God wants to do something significant in his left leg.

“I asked an orthopaedic nurse from my church whether she would be able to measure the length of my left leg,” he explains to us. “She’d offered to do it before, so I simply asked her if I could take up her offer.”

Her measuring tape reveals that his leg is now 1.5cm shorter than the other. Ed can’t believe it.

“Are you sure?” he asks her.

“Absolutely,” she replies.

“Ever since I had stopped growing, it had always been measured as 5cm shorter,”  he tells us, “so how could it now be only 1.5cm? It made no sense.”

Ed concludes that God must have begun to lengthen his leg, three years earlier, but he doesn’t understand why he hasn’t noticed before!


Less than three weeks later, Ed is at a “Healing on the Streets” training day. It’s taking place in the city near to where he lives; the trainer is from Northern Ireland. Sitting on a chair at the end of a line of chairs, he stretches his legs out in front of him, and his left leg starts to twitch. 

“I was being prayed for, when a woman from South Africa challenged me to go and get a new pair of shoes to test it,” Ed says.

Duly complying, Ed bags a bargain pair, at a discount price.

“I’d not worn a normal pair of shoes for almost a decade,” he explains. “Since I’d stopped growing, I’d always worn a big left shoe to keep me balanced, so this was novel.”

Returning to the  line of chairs, Ed puts on his new shoes, conscious that they are a pretty good fit.

A retired clinician from the local hospital offers to measure his legs. His specialism used to be orthotics, which would have included prescribing the kind of orthopaedic shoes that Ed has been wearing, so he’s well-qualified for the task.

“There’s a 1.5cm difference,” he declares, and then: “I’ll send you a small insert, for wearing inside your new left shoe.” 

Ed is delighted.


It is another ten years before Ed receives further concerted prayer for healing for his left leg, this time at a non-stop Christian worship weekend. There have been moments in that decade when he’s considered it, and sometimes even asked for it, but this time feels different.

“My pelvic bones seemed level, and it felt as though my leg had grown,” he tells us. “But then I went to the medical tent to get it measured, and there was still a 1.5cm difference in length.”

He pauses a moment, before continuing. “It was hard not to feel disappointed,” he says, “but I have faith to believe that God will complete what he has started, and that a day will come when I can stop wearing the raise inside my shoe.”

(I look forward to a future blog post, telling you the outcome!)

For now, Ed simply feels grateful to God for the additional 3.5cm that his shortened leg has already gained. He also relishes being able to wear normal shoes, something most of us simply take for granted.


Hearing Ed’s story reminds me of a story in the Bible, from Mark 8:2226, where Jesus restored the sight of a blind man in two distinct stages.

It also reminds me of a similar story, over here on my blog, where healing came in incremental stages.

The reality is that healing doesn’t always come at once.
Sometimes it doesn’t come at all.
In Ed’s case, it’s come in part, but it’s yet to come in full.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask Jesus to heal us, does it?


With this in mind, I’ve got two thoughts for you to ponder.  

Firstly, how many of us are praying for healing for long-term conditions, either for ourselves or for our loved ones? How many of us have seen only partial healing in these situations?

If this is you, how do you handle the tension that this creates?

Secondly, how many of us have a testimony story of God’s “light through the cracks”, like Ed’s, which is partial? How many of us have been holding back from speaking it out, because it’s not ‘complete’?

If this is you, what would happen to your faith and expectancy if, like Ed, you were prepared to share it anyway?

As ever, you are welcome to use the comments below to share your thoughts and reflections, or any encouragement you have for Ed.

Also, if you want to read another story about leg lengthening, you will find one over here on my blog!


Main photo from Pexels via Pixabay



  1. What a wonderful story of God’s amazing grace and healing power! I hope Ed keeps telling his story about God’s goodness and look forward to hearing when God completes what He has begun in the healing of Ed’s leg. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    • Joanna Watson Reply

      Thank you Janet! I’m sure that Ed will feel greatly encouraged by your comment.

  2. That’s a really interesting story of incremental healing and, like you, it reminded me too of Jesus healing the blind man in two stages. It’s also understandable that Ed would wrestle with disappointment – so would I! Looking forward to hearing the next part of this story.

    • Joanna Watson Reply

      Thank you, Mary, for your comment. I’m sure this will encourage Ed.

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