Healing Austin

Erik Cooper —  May 16, 2011 — 10 Comments

I remember the day with vivid clarity. I was sitting in the music studio working on post-production for our latest live worship album, and my wife called.

At 3 months old, we had noticed something didn’t seem right about our son’s vision. He struggled to focus. To visually connect. His baby blues rolled uncontrollably outward and independent of one another. We initially chalked it up to infant muscle development, but the random comments and concern from others soon became too loud to ignore.

“He has optic nerve hypoplasia,” my wife soberly announced, a medical issue that results in the underdevelopment of the nerve that connects the eyes to the brain. In layman’s terms: if you and I have optic nerves the size of a garden hose, my son’s were more the circumference of a coffee stirrer.

The prognosis ranged from severe visual impairment to complete blindness, and possibly even brain development disorders.

I remember the overwhelming sense of powerlessness. The involuntary impulse to try and find a way to take his place. But the impairment of Austin’s eyes was simply met with tears from mine own.

So we prayed.

I’m a life-long pianist, and a friend of mine made what was initially an awkward suggestion. “Set your son in his carrier underneath your piano at home, and play music over him in the dark after everyone else has gone to bed. Use your artistry as an expression of prayer to God for the healing of your son.”

So I prayed (and played).

The following song emerged from those late night sessions:

Healing Austin: Healing Austin

Almost six years later and I still can’t listen to that track without feeling the emotion. The agony. The questions. The quiet pleading. The desperation.

The worship.

And slowly but surely over the next five years, encouraging news began to emerge from the chaos.

  • An initial brain MRI showed no abnormalities.
  • Aging eye tests showed gradually improving visual acuity.
  • Last year the doctor actually said, “I’m not sure I even want to call this hypoplasia anymore. His optic nerves now appear to be more on the small end of normal.
  • And this past Thursday, more to celebrate. In another year or so, Austin may not even need his glasses!

(Although I’m kind of partial on how good we look in them together).

I certainly give no credit to some “magic” musical skills. But I do give credit to my God. Something happened to my son. Is happening in my son. I can’t deny it.

It wasn’t instantaneous.

It’s been slow and methodical.

But God is healing Austin.

I can’t explain why we’ve experienced the miraculous while others still wait with more heartache than answers. Somedays I wish God was a replicable formula.

Dark Room + Urgent Prayer x A Beautiful Melody = Exactly What I Ask For

But I do know He still acts. He still responds. He still heals. Do you believe that?

How have you seen God tangibly respond in your life? What circumstances still leave you waiting in quiet desperation?

10 responses to Healing Austin

  1. That is awesome! I love to see God work in creative ways. I’m listening to the song right now and I love it. May God continue to bless your family in many ways.

  2. The tears are running down my face as I thank God for what He alone has done in Austin…we must keep telling his story. Another beautiful blog, Erik. You write with a powerful anointing.

  3. Dwight Cooper May 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    We have prayed for Austin since he was born. god is good and patient with all of us. But it is still hard for us to be patient with Him, but He is faithful. Cotinued prayer. And your Mom is right about your writing. Love, Uncle Dwight and Darlene

  4. I remember that I played your song many nights for my son Luke. A fresh reminder to me to never give up hope for my son’s healing. Feeling hope…

  5. That’s just beautiful. Austin is so sweet! I was very blessed to read what God is doing and has done already!

  6. I just recently found out that my seven month old daughter Ellie has this disorder which caused blinding in her right eye…your blog as left me hopefully and praying harder! Cuz I think that that may be one thing that I forget is God is always in control especially when we cant be

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    […] heard a lot of people use it to put their kids to sleep at night, too). It also contains the song Healing Austin, that I wrote about here a few weeks […]

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