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Jesus Loves All the Children- Integrative paper

Everyone who went to Sunday school as a child, has been taught that everyone was
created differently from one another and is loved by God. We even learned it in a song, Red and
yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the
world.1 However, what happens when time passes and age increases? All of a sudden we do not
see each other in a positive light and now let differences, like a disability or shade of skin,
separate us. We begin to think less of one another, compared to the song, where we are loved and
brought together through differences. Throughout history, people with disabilities have been outcasted, shamed, and treated as a useless eater.2 However, a disability is just a difference, like
skin or eye color, from others. People with disabilities have the similar experiences as other
human beings that do not have a disability such as experiencing the creation, the fall,
redemption, and a vocation from God.
God has created each person differently from one another. We were not constructed, but created.
As British author G.K. Chesterton writes, that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is
constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.3 God created each of us in love, and has
loved us from the beginning. Then why are those with a disability out-casted and unloved for
who they are as the world tries to change who they are? They were imagined and created by
God in the same way as others; therefore, we should love them the same and treat them just as all
other human beings. Besides, we all are different but made by the same creator. The metaphor
same lake, different boat used by Stephanie Hubach explains that we all live and are from the
1 Lyrics from popular childrens song, Jesus Loves the Little Children.
2 Reference to Article Useless Eaters by Mostert.
3 Plantinga pg. 23

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same lake, just are in different boats because of our experientially differences (different looks,
situations, and characteristics) from one another.4 Instead of isolating one another, we should
accept each other for our differences even if the difference is a disability. God created us
differently so that we can use our different gifts to help each other grow in faith and live together
in society.
Many people may question, what can a person with a disability actually do to help me? And
people in the church raise the question of why we should minister to people with disabilities?5
This question makes me uncomfortable; people with a disability should already be included and
involved in everything we do. Non-disabled people have the responsibility from God to help and
include all others. According to Gods intelligence, the way to thrive is to help others thrive; the
way to flourish is to cause others to flourish; the way to fulfill yourself is to spend yourself
(Plantinga, 2002).6 God tells us not to ignore, outcast, and forget those who are disabled, but
invite them to be part of the group. But what about those who are missing a limb, paralyzed, or
cognitively disabled going to do for you and fulfill Gods intelligence? Because God created
everyone, people with a disability can still do all things God wanted everyone to fulfill and do
and can help others in ways we may not even imagine. They can even minister to us. Crazy
enough, they go through many struggles and challenges people may not understand that test their
faith in God. They can actually teach us a lot, if we take the time to get to know them. We are no
better that them. And we have to remember that wisdoms first child is humility (Plantinga 2002).7
4 Beyond Suffering. Pg. 32. Reference to On Identification: Same Lake Different
Boat by Hubach
5 Beyond Suffering pg. 27. Reference to Title.
6 Plantinga pg. 22
7 Plantinga pg. 41

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We need to stop thinking highly of ourselves and less of others. Because we all have things that we
struggle with, that is our own disabilities. They are different from one another, but in a sense we all have
our own disabilities that society can look down upon.
After the fall, sin entered the world and since then all human beings have been imperfect and full of
struggles and sin. Throughout history, many peoples attention have been on those with a disability and
the fall can be seen in the way that we have treated those who have disabilities. Through the Eugenics
movement and the fact we wanted to get rid of the population of those who are disabled because we
thought it was sign of sin onto these people shows the sin within us. However, times have changes and
things have gotten a little better, but sin does still exist and things could be much better to make the world
a much easier place for people with disabilities. The disability itself may be a sign from the fall or could
be part of Gods plan. It is hard to say; but if it is a sign of the fall and sin, then it is no different than the
sin that the rest of us have. In that way we all have a disability, just in different forms. Nick Vujicic, a
man who has no limbs, say, the greatest disability is others mindset. 8 This is sin itself; our eyes our
shielded by the outside and we never get to know who they really are and what their talents are. This idea
can apply to everyone, because we are all broken and missing parts in some form which is our sinful
nature. But, because of the grace of God and his love for us and the fact he sent his son to take our sins,
all of us our given redemption.
God loves us when he creates us, and loves us enough to give us redemption. Redemption includes the
reconciliation of all things whether on earth or in heaven (Colossians 1:20). 9 All things includes
everyone, even those with disabilities. Everyone will be redeemed once we accept God and his Son as our
savior. We individually have to this, but we all get the opportunity. Redemption to those with a disability
could be a healing of the disability, or the blessing they can offer all of us, or the victories they
accomplish in their lives. It does not have to be healing, because sin may not be the disability.

8 From a video in Beyond Suffering about Nick Vujicic


9 Plantinga pg. 97

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Redemption could be the fact that their gifts bless us and make us remember the redemption of God.
People with disabilities seem to have amazing faith stories and trust in God that reminds us of Gods
kingdom and the redemption he has for all of us.
Every individual has gifts from God, as well as a vocation or calling from him including people with
disabilities. People with disabilities can use their vocation from God to make large differences similarly to
all of us. It may be a smaller action or accomplishment, but it is still fulfilling and doing what God called
them to do. Seeing their faith and accomplishments show the world that people with disabilities are
human beings. God can use all kinds of groups and persons to further his purposes, including groups and
persons that are uninterested in God or even opposed to God (Plantinga, 2002). 10 If God can perform
what he wants through those that are opposed to him, I imagine that people with disabilities are blessed
by God and can perform their vocation and purposes of God through them too. People with disabilities
bless every place they go, open the worlds eyes to specific challenges they have to overcome, and change
our minds and challenge us to think about what we can do to find Gods calling and do what he asks of us.
Honestly, people with disabilities are just like those without. However, the world does not always see it
that way and are not as supportive of those with a disability. However, as more has been learned and time
has passed things are not as bad as they were in the past. Instead of the terrible institutions, we now have
good group homes for those with disabilities allowing them to thrive better. However, people are still
stuck in the past. Families break apart when they have a child with a disability and some even give up that
child, because they think their child will be nothing and unable to do anything successful in this world.
But societys standards of success is different than Gods standards. People are only aware of the cultural
and societal views that they are blinded from the gifts God has provided to people with disabilities with.
However, churches and schools are slowly recognizing these gifts and talents and adjusting to make
things easier, including programs to help integrate them into the community and congregation. They are
becoming more involved and present in places they were once not allowed. Also, the community and
society seems to be more aware of the difficulties present to those who are disabled and learning more
10 Plantinga pg. 112

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about them. By getting to know those who have a disability and understand how they feel, we can learn
from them, as they help us and we help them. However, we have a long way to go. We need to treat them
as everyday people and recognize how special they are and that they are blessed by God, and we can be
blessed by them.
Overall, there are little differences between people who are disabled and nondisabled. We all
struggle and have challenges, are created by God, sin from the fall, are redeemed by God, and have a
vocation to fulfill. Yes, there are some things people with disabilities will never be able to do or
cognitively be able to perform, but nondisabled people also are that way too. When will I (a 53
education major) ever be able to cognitively perform advanced aerospace engineering or slam dunk a
basketball? I am blessed with different gifts, and so is everyone else. The world needs to start realizing
that instead of making people with disabilities conform to the normal world and live up to societys
standards of success, we need to conform and accept their world and standards. People who are
disabled bring so much to the world. They are Gods creations and are loved by him, just like everyone
else. As a society, we need to go back to that childs mind where they are a friend and we see right
through their disability. Besides, Jesus loves all the little children, ALL the children of the world. 11 We
are unique in every way from one another. Together we need to unify as a congregation and community
and use everyones strengths to grow and teach others to accept everyone for their differences. Whether
black or white, in a wheelchair or not, we are all loved and part of the family of God. Then lets act like a
family, and love one another for whomever we are and see each other for the beauty and gifts inside we
all have to bring and help each other out.

Reference Page

11 Song Lyrics from Jesus Loves the Little Children.

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Eareckon Tada, J., & Bundy, S. (2011). Beyond Suffering: A Christian View on Disability
Ministry. Study Guide. N.p.: Joni and Friends.
Mostert, M. P. (2002). Useless Eaters: Disability as Genocidal Marker in Nazi Germany. The
Journal of Special Education (Vol. 36, pp. 155-168).
Plantinga, C. (2002). Engaging God's World: A Reformed Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living.
Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.