671) “The World Needs Handicapped People”

 From Our Journey Home, by Gary Bauer, 1992, pages 164-166.

    Judy Squier by anyone’s definition would be considered a winner.  She has a happy marriage and is raising three well-adjusted children.  She is active in her church and in community affairs in her hometown in California.  Many people can boast of having these same accomplishments, of course, but what makes Judy extraordinary is that she has done all this even though she was born with no legs.  After her birth a heartless obstetrician left the delivery room and informed her waiting father, “You daughter is going to live, I’m sorry to say.”  That medical professional was very aware of Judy’s obvious outward deformities.  But with all his knowledge of the human body he had no way to take the measurement of character, of her heart and soul.  In those areas Judy benefited from a surplus.

Judy Squier today ( http://www.judysquier.com )

     With the guidance of her father and the support of her family, Judy’s life has turned the obstetrician’s observation into a lie.  Early on she resolved herself to working harder and longer than “normal” people for what she wanted.  Her life was a series of setbacks followed by eventual triumphs.  Today she drives a specially designed car and is a regular Mom to her children and wife to her husband.  

     When Judy was in Washington (to receive an award) she had an opportunity to talk to many members of the United States Senate, all of whom praised her for the example she has set.  Judy was grateful for the praise and adulation.  But she shocked the senators, many of whom described themselves as pro-choice, when she remarked that if they had their way there would be no Judy Squiers in the future.  Abortion would eliminate the “deformed” and “abnormal” children like herself long before they had a chance to see the light of the world and long before we could experience the light of their lives.  (For example, by 2012, twenty years after this story, 90% of the unborn children who tested positive for Down’s syndrome were being aborted).

     Judy told the audience the night she received her reward, “I am convinced that this world needs handicapped people.  God designed it that way.  Handicapped people make a unique contribution that cannot be artificially created.”  There wasn’t one person in the audience, most of them in tears, who would disagree…

     Congressman Henry Hyde has written and spoken about Greg Wittine, who became an Eagle Scout when he was twenty-three years old.  In his excellent book For Every Idle Silence, Hyde says this of Wittine:

Cerebral paralytic.  Sits in a wheelchair.  Can’t talk.  You’d think he was also mentally disabled.  He has little control over his muscles.  He points to the letters on an alphabet board to communicate.  I watched him on television become an Eagle Scout.  His chest was covered with merit badges.  Hike ten miles?  He crawled it on his hands and knees.  If you deny the existence of the human soul, then you have to define the celestial fire in Greg Wittine who says: ‘I won’t surrender to my handicaps.  I’m going to achieve.  I’m going to do the best with what God has given me.’

     Our children need to know such people.  They also must be taught that the measure of a man or woman is not found in the shape or form of their body, nor in the outward quality of their life.  In each of us there is a celestial fire, a divine spark that marks us as a special creation of God.  

Wheelchair Boy Scout with Disability

Greg Wittine

His accomplishment in 1978 led the Boy Scouts to drop the age limit for handicapped scouts to become Eagle Scouts.

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Philippians 4:13  —   Christ gives me the strength to face anything.

II Corinthians 12:7b-9  —  …In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Psalm 46:1  —  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

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I asked God to take away my habit.  God said, “No.  It is not for me to take it away, but for you to give it up.”

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.  God said, “No.  His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.”

I asked God to grant me patience.  God said, “No.  Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it is not granted, it is learned.”

I asked God to give me happiness.  God said, “No.  I give you blessings; happiness is up to you.”

I asked God to spare me pain.  God said, “No.  Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.  God said, “No.  I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.”

I asked God to help me love others, as much as He loves me.  God said, “Ah, finally you have the idea.”

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