Silas hurt his hand working in the woodshop. It was a freak accident that left his left hand unresponsive and useless. At first, he thought it would just fix itself, but that didn’t happen. The weeks and months turned into years, and he floundered to find a way to support his family. His wife, Hannah paid most of their expenses with the money she made baking, but it still left a lot of their wants unmet and many of their bills unpaid. They had love, though, to keep them together, and their faith in God that he would not let them starve.
Still, Silas grew depressed. His faith in God started to waver with each passing day–his hand a constant reminder of all he had lost. When Hannah encouraged him to visit his brother Jonathan, Silas didn’t think much about it, but as his depression worsened, she insisted he get away to the country and prayed God would work a miracle.
Jonathan, always the idealistic one in the family, forced Silas to go hear a new teacher, someone called Jesus. Silas sat in the back and mostly watched the crowd that had gathered. They listened so intently to the young preacher. They all had that spark in their eye. The spark that comes with youth and not knowing the pain and loss that life can bring.
Before the evening was over, the spark in the crowd had grown to a roaring fire, and they were demanding to make Jesus their new leader. Silas skirted the back of the crowd and headed toward the main road. He wasn’t interested in any sort of rebellion. As he weaved around the stragglers, Jesus came up next to him. No one else seemed to notice him. They were all chanting toward the front.
Jesus walked with him a little ways, and then looked him in the eye and asked him if he wanted to be healed. Silas mumbled words of anger. What kind of question was that? But Jesus met him there and asked to see his hand. It all happened so fast. And before Silas could fully comprehend what he’d done, before he could thank him, Jesus was gone. He’d blended back into the crowd. Did he even know what he’d just done? How he’d given a broken man a second chance at life?
Silas held up his hand, healed and perfect. He practically ran all the way back to Jerusalem.
Life was still hard. But Silas had hope again. He could take care of his family, give his sweet daughters the life they deserved, and let his dear Hannah rest from all her baking.
Things were slow, though, and work was harder to come by than he thought it would be. Hannah had to keep working, and the girls still had to play with rags instead of toys. Silas struggled to keep a hold on his hope. With each passing day and each new bill, he found himself growing more and more angry and less and less thankful.
That’s when he saw it. That’s when he saw the notice tacked to the work board by the mill. It only took him a few days to convince himself it was okay. That it didn’t mean anything. That doing that kind of job wouldn’t change who he is. That God wouldn’t mind….