31 March 2023

‘My belief was strengthened when I looked at creation around me’

Reuben Dykes

Photo of Reuben Dykes.

Salvationist Radio presenter Reuben Dykes (Kidsgrove) explains how his faith in God has helped him overcome his doubts.

I present a programme for the Sunday Lunch broadcast on Salvationist Radio on the first Sunday of the month called Reuben’s Pick and Mix. There’s all sorts of Salvation Army and Christian music or music with a Christian theme. I pre-record it at home – I have a large collection of music and choose songs I think listeners will enjoy.

My parents are both officers and so I’ve grown up in the Army. I’m what people call ‘Army barmy’ – if you cut me, I would bleed red, yellow and blue! Being a Christian is what I have always known.

I have autism, so I take things literally. There was a time when I began to question my faith because, as an autistic person, I rely on literal, physical things. I couldn’t physically touch God or see or hear God’s presence.

However, one day my belief in God was strengthened afresh when I looked up to the sky and looked at creation around me. This allowed me to understand that there is, in fact, a Creator God. That really helped me to trust and live by faith and not by sight, as Scripture says.

This can be difficult, as I like to rely on proof, but there is historical proof that what occurred in the Bible actually happened. For anyone who comes to faith who is autistic and relies on physical things, look at Scripture. We know the Bible is trustworthy.

God is working in my life today by helping me to stay strong to my faith, even when the doubts come in and literal thinking kicks in. I’ve just got a new job and I think it helped me to get that job. And then there’s also the love of my friends and family.

I think this must be the case for every Christian, but there are times when we don’t realise that he is working in our lives until when we look back. The Bible says that God is love and so when we have experienced love in our lives, that was God at work.

I am thankful to God for my family, particularly my parents. They help me in my faith and reassure me when I have my doubts. Without them I would be lost, to put it bluntly.

If I’m going to a new place, it helps me if I have someone to go with or meet me there. If a person with autism already has a connection, like a friend or family member, who goes to a corps, I think it can be helpful to have that person to help them settle in. A friendly face really matters. If Jesus was in a physical presence today in The Salvation Army, he’d probably be at the entrance welcoming people in!

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Photo of Reuben Dykes.

Reuben Dykes


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