A study by The Global Medical Research Institute (GMRI) confirmed that a Baptist woman was miraculously healed of blindness after her husband prayed for her in 1972.
The woman was diagnosed with Juvenile Macular Degeneration (JMD) and had been legally blind for 13 years. JMD is an inherited and incurable condition that results in the central part of what a person is looking at becoming dark or blurred, while the edges often remain clear.
The woman first contracted the condition in 1959 when she was 18 years old. Her condition rapidly deteriorated over the following months, and she was eventually forced to turn to braille for reading and the use of a cane for walking. She would also eventually marry and have a child.
The study of the miracle was undertaken on behalf of GMRI by two professors, Joshua Brown of Indiana University, Kenn Freedman of Texas Tech University, and as well a retired radiologist David Zaritzky and GMRI associate researcher Clarrisa Romez.
According to the researchers, the woman was healed of this incurable condition when her pastor husband laid hands on his wife and prayed for healing late one night.
The couple did not personally know anyone who experienced divine healing other than those recorded in the Bible:
The study reported:
“With great feeling and boldness he [the husband] prayed: ‘Oh God you can restore … eyesight tonight. Lord, I know you can do it! And I pray You will do it tonight.”
When the woman opened her eyes, she was completely healed of the condition and for the first was able to see what her husband and also daughter looked like.
The group summed up this healing by stating:
“In summary, the patient was blind for  years because of a condition that appeared to be a severe form of Stargardt’s disease. Following a PIP event, her vision was spontaneously restored and remains intact to date, 47 years later.”
PIP is described as Proxmal Intercessory Prayer, when a person prays near an individual, that often includes laying on of hands.
But this is not the first case of a confirmed healing from blindness, there is even one recorded in the Bible.
It involves a strange healing found in Mark 8:22-26. In this passage, Jesus spit on the blind man’s eyes and asked what he saw.
The man said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking” (v. 24). This resulted in Jesus praying a second time and the man’s sight was completely restored.
Now many have interpreted this verse in various ways. Some suggest that it reveals that Jesus needed more faith to complete the healing. Others use it as an argument that healing can come in stages.
However, this passage provides evidence that a divine healing took place. In his book, An Anthropologist on Mars, Oliver Sacks talks about a healing that occurred in 1991 that was very similar to what we see in Mark.
Shirl Jennings, age 50, started going blind at the age of 3 and was eventually diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. However, decades later Jennings came in contact with an eye specialist who after examination believed Jennings’ blindness was actually due to thick cataracts. Once these cataracts were removed, Jennings was able to see.
However, similar to the blind man in Mark, Jennings initially struggled with distinguish depth, everything was a mishmash of images merging together as one. Jennings’ girlfriend wrote in her journal:
“[Shirl] often felt more disabled than he had felt when he was blind… Steps posed a special hazard because all he could see was a confusion, a flat surface of parallel and crisscrossing lines; he could not see them (although he knew them) as solid objects going up or coming down in three-dimensional place.” — An Anthropologist on Mars by Dr Oliver Sacks
She said it took months before Jennings was able to see the leaves, branches and trunks were actually part of a single tree. But he was eventually able to see clearly.
The blind man in Mark was having the exact same problem. All the images were merging together, men were blending into trees, until Jesus prayed a second time and fixed the problem.
Shirl Jenning’s experience after his cataracts were removed confirms the blind man’s statement, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” This statement is actual evidence that a divine healing took place. It is what happens when a person’s sight is restored after a lifetime of blindness.
It just took us 2,000 years to discover that.
To see and not to see: New Yorker
Overwhelmed by the Light: The Baltimore Sun
Into the Light: Los Angeles Times.
Obituaries of Note: St. Petersburg Times.