Silas, Unhindered

by DanWolgemuth on February 4, 2022

Jake Bland is a trusted friend, and my successor at Youth For Christ USA. He’s a man who not only champions our mission, but stewards the vital role that he plays, along with his wife Ali, for the care of their young family.

Enter Silas… Jake and Ali’s six-year-old son. Their oldest.

In so many ways, Silas is a typical six-year-old boy. Yet, in a few very significant ways, he is not. Silas has a significant communication deficit associated with autism. Yet, it would appear that Silas’ condition has only amplified and intensified the voice of the Holy Spirit in his young heart and soul. His ears are tuned to a frequency that few of us ever connect to. And bedtime provides the perfect opportunity to share his discoveries… and on this occasion, he did so with his Dad.

Several months ago, as Jake was tugging the blanket around his six-year-old son’s chin, words spilled from Silas’ lips with tenderness and urgency… “Dad, I don’t want you to ever die.”

In an instant, Jake wisely and thoughtfully recited the beautiful words from John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him will not die but have life everlasting.” (You’ll note that Jake wisely substituted “die” for “perish’.)

“Will not die” … the words exploded off of Jake’s lips and into the soul of his waiting son. Reassuring words. Comforting words. Powerful words. An irrevocable promise.

Familiar words to millions. Familiarity that often extinguishes the flame of joy, and empties the lungs of hope. But for Silas Bland, this was an earth-shifting revelation.

Without further prompting or explanation, Silas volleyed back a request. I guess it was more like a demand. Honestly, it was more like the words of Jesus in Matthew 28 which we know as the Great Commission.

“Dad, we should tell everyone about this!”

Silas didn’t ponder, or reflect, or journal, or blog… he just reacted to the most beautiful news in the history of mankind. An uncluttered soul provided the fertile ground on which this good news landed, and from which it exploded with joyful exuberance.

Uncomplicated in its clarity, profound in its reality. Death defeated.

Tell everyone! Why wouldn’t we?

In that moment, and frankly, in the months that have followed, Silas demonstrates a closeness to Jesus, and a passion for evangelism that is both unencumbered and unleashed.

Incredible news that’s too good to confine. Everyone needs to know.

For Silas, a conversation with you, or with me would be a challenge… but not a conversation with Jesus.

For Silas, listening and processing any kind of instruction can be nearly impossible, but not when it comes from the pen of John and with the ink of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus hit this topic squarely in Matthew 19 – “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Silas. Unhindered.

Death defeated.  Yes Silas, we should tell everyone…

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