Topic: Depression And Disability I: Depression Is A Disability
Series: The Muppet Show, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers, Digimon
Episodes: 114--Sandy Duncan (The Muppet Show), Mirror Of Regret (Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers), Rescue Rangers To The Rescue III (Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers), The Eighth Child Revealed (Digimon)
Lesson PDF link: 53a.pdf
Today, we are talking about depression and disability. These two can go hand in hand because depression can become a disabilility. What is depression in your opinion? Have you felt depression as you or a doctor would define it before? My personal answer to this question is yes and you the reader will see at least some personal testimony on this as the lesson goes on. Do any of you have a disability as you or a doctor would define one, or have had one before? What does depression and/or disability do to you as a whole? If you don't know what would you imagine it's like to you as a whole? To help illustrate these points, I am going to show a series of clips and shorts from various cartoons and kid shows and we will have discussion and Bible study as we get to different problems shown by the shows. In this part of the lesson, the clips are staying on the problem of depression, but as you will see, this can be a huge disability all its own.
The first clip is on loneliness. We will show a clip of The Muppet Show: 114) Sandy Duncan.
Clip from "The Muppet Show: 114) Sandy Duncan":
What did you see in this clip? The first character that Sandy is trying to help is what we are really going after. The second character is a gag more than anything, but we can see that the first Muppet monster is helped, while the other one didn't take kindly as much to the same treatment. We can only presume that the first one wanted and needed help and the other grouchy one either wasn't ready or wanted that kind of help yet and smashed a pie in her face. For help and grace to correct this kind of problem we need to be receptive to it and gracefully accept grace. We also need to remember if we are lonely what the Bible says about us.
The Bible States In Psalms 139: 13-18
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
The Bible states that we are very special to God and that is why He went to painstaking detail on us and I am sure this is true for anything else that He created. God literally doesn't make mistakes. So, remember first that you are special, very special.
So, how do we handle it if this alone isn't exactly enough? Sometimes even if we remember the above scripture passage, we still have the cold reality of virtually or all the people around us not feeling the same way God does, in this case, you just have to keep a godly attitude. This is tough sometimes.
In the next clips we are going to discuss the problem of being made fun of or being demeaned by a peer.
Clip #1 from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: "Mirror Of Regret":
What do you see in this clip?
Look at the bully in this clip. His name is Butch. He says "Hey, watch it Small Fry." and then "Give it up Shrimp! You'll never get it right!". Sadly, I have been here and it shatters confidence and morale just about quicker than anything at that age. Unfortunately, for me personally, the teachers weren't really a lot of help at all.
Should a student say something or hope a teacher takes control?
Look at the character named Adam (the guy in black). He says "Hey, lighten up! It's not how we handle things here".
Clip #2 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: "Mirror Of Regret":
Adam comes to the defense of his student named Sean. Evidently, Adam was teased and bullied too and wants to relate to his student. Adam says to Butch "Yeah, but with an attitude like that we don't have a team". Sean doesn't seem to believe Adam. Why?
Clip #3 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: "Mirror Of Regret":
Is this good advice? The answer without looking at the spiritual is yes, if Adam is talking about a healthy amount of self confidence which is a necessity with any skill you will learm. This also requires getting the right friends as well to help with any journey like this one. God promises help with
Deuteronomy 31: 6
6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
I zeroed in on this verse because it's true, no matter what people say God will always put the right people at the right time in your path. Just have faith in Him. A good friend is very valuable and in this way a lot of times, God brings us closer to knowing His true plan for us.
Clip #4 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: "Mirror Of Regret":
This clip shows the mentor's power to help someone's confidence as Adam teaches Sean at a pace that is tolerable and easy for him. In other words, Adam is a great teacher and it shows with this particular student.
On the other hand, what happens if the teacher gets tested and has to practice what he preaches?
Sometimes, this is no easy task as you will see. The evil "Mirror Of Regret" appears and tests our hero.
Clip #5 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: "Mirror Of Regret":
Adam must remember his purpose instead of what the villains want him to do and that is dwell on past shortcomings and weaknesses. Do you ever feel like this; that your past is still with you and therefore advancement is stalled in your life and your spiritual journey?
Clip #6 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: "Mirror Of Regret":
Evidently, this evil mirror even picks up the truth, that Adam is strong and shows how successful he is and is projecting that to his student. This baffles Goldar and defeats him. If we have what we need on the inside, the past isn't chaining us anymore. Adam is just in time to help against the monster of the episode--Skelerena!!
Clip #7 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: "Mirror Of Regret":
What do you see in this clip? Evidently, this cannon is so powerful that it beats Skelerena easily. For insurance purposes though, Zordon and Alpha (the good guys in the chamber) must have pre-armed the cannon with the 'black charge' as it was missing from the loading phase of Skelerena's defeat. Why? It could very well be that Zordon and Alpha underestimated Adam's ability to break the mirror's spell, although Adam would definitely be needed for added support in holding this weapon so nothing bad would happen like a misfire of this cannon.
The next clip shows depression in the form of aimless purpose.
Clip of Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers: "Rescue Rangers To The Rescue III":
What do you see in this clip?
Gadget is obviously depressed; her dad is obviously dead, and she seemingly can't be like him. Why?
The answer is pretty easy. Gadget thinks that her purpose lies in being something she isn't and the fact that she can't live up to that is depressing along with losing a much loved father. We can only presume her mother could be easily out of the picture by death or separation. She is literally all alone without a purpose up to then.
Is this cartoon right about how to help her?
In my opinion, I think it is, although sometimes it's not as easy as friends. In my case though personally, it was. I was depressed as well until I found people who loved me for who I was too. When I was growing up, I received nothing but teasing and bullying from all sides, so I didn't have many if any friends. My home life was a wreck too. When I got out of the bad situation I was in, I made friends easily. When you are out of a clearly toxic situation, it's a lot easier to be yourself and listen for God's instruction on your purpose for His kingdom.
This leads us to the next set of clips. These will show depression triggered by abuse.
I am going to show a series of clips from the Digimon episode "The Eighth Child Revealed" and we will have discussions on the clips.
Clip #1 of Digimon: "The Eighth Child Revealed":
What do you see in this clip?
Gatomon is a very tormented individual. She has been called upon to destroy the eighth digidestined human; she suspects the character named Kari, but didn't attack because she felt something deep inside of her pulling her away from attacking. Gatomon is what we call a seeker. This is someone who knows that their life is supposed to be more, but doesn't have it figured out yet. This usually is about salvation and then purpose.
Let's look at a familiar Bible passage to explain things a bit more. This should encourage anyone like Gatomon.
The Bible States In Psalm 34:
1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
The Bible States In Romans 11: 13-16:
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry
14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 if the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Gatomon searches for a better destiny than being enslaved and doing evil things that she knows better than to do. Kari seems to have a great relationship with her pet and Gatomon is envious in the sense that she wishes she had someone who would include her and be pleasant to her for a change. This starts a chain reaction of wanting her life to change for the better and find true purpose.
Clip #2 of Digimon: "The Eighth Child Revealed":
What do you see in this clip?
It is obvious that the reason why Gatomon is tormented is all the abuse she took at the hands of the real villain in this set of clips. Myotismon is so mean and controlling, just looking at him the way he thinks would be considered rebellious or disobedience meant certain harsh punishment and 'discipline'. Also look at one other thing. In a flashback of how they met, Gatomon actually does a kind act to Wizardmon in this clip, much like the Good Samaritan. This wins the friendship between the two; as well loneliness also plays a key role in this friendship as well as they can relate well. This also further proves the point that she doesn't like where she stands in this clip as part of Myotismon's army.
I can relate to the above clip as my home life wasn't that great. My dad was abusive growing up and still is to some extent today. My dad can make an emotional wreck out of you and he isn't much emotional support. He has even misunderstood my gestures and glance as disobedience or rebellion too. I don't think my dad is as bad as Myotismon is in this episode, but emotionally, it kind of felt the same. I have undergone therapy for nightmares and to try to sort my various sour emotions out. It has helped considerably. When dad tries demeaning talk nowadays, I can more easily take the pressure and stand up to him better. As you will see Gatomon is learning too, thanks to Wizardmon's help.
Clip #3 of Digimon: "The Eighth Child Revealed":
What do you see in this clip?
This is basically to say that Gatomon and Kari are supposed to be partners and Gatomon just passed the trustworthiness test by taking Agumon's Pepper Breath attack, which in my opinion, shouldn't have even been fired because of the possibly of hitting Kari instead of the intended target, however nonetheless, trust is still earned here and now the good guys take Gatomon seriously in a good way.
Clip #4 of Digimon: "The Eighth Child Revealed":
What do you see in this clip?
Gatomon has truly turned into something that all bullies must fear, someone who cannot be controlled in that way, meaning fear and intimidation. Once Gatomon figures out where she fits then standing up to Myotismon was much easier. She could have died in this case, but this would have been for something admirable. Gatomon goes on in later episodes to leading the charge as Angewomon and help to delete even a stronger form of this guy. Repentance was truly done and now she is in the good guys' camp from now on. She also in effect says the same thing as Adam did in "Mirror Of Regret". My answer is still the same.
In the Christian language to relate to all of these depressed cartoon characters better, let's look at a few Bible passages. First we have Romans 8: 15-17.
The Bible States:
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
The various depressed characters we have looked at in this lesson found a physical purpose, but inside of that purpose lies a destiny. For example, in The Muppet Show clip with the lonely monster, we find his looks are who he is. If this character was real, then God made him to be that different and his outlook changed for the better and the destiny was to spread life and love instead of death and hate everywhere he went. Instead of wilting and killing flowers, he was able to raise them up. Instead of dogs hating him and scaring children, he would be loved on by the dogs and I am sure children would play with him and have a much needed friend.
Second, we have Sean. He was the target of at least one bully if not more and no one wanted to be with him evidently until Adam showed up. Sean, because of Adam's mentoring, was able to be more confident in his skills and was more disciplined than he ever had. The destiny is obvious. The skills that this character learned if real, would follow him the rest of his life and then Sean will most likely be doing good works with those skills all of his days.
Third we have Gadget. In her clip, her depression was about lack of purpose and she compared herself to her dead father. This is a huge mistake, but God saw fit to give her friends at the right time so she wouldn't be trapped. Her skills were needed. This is one of the things that I relate to so well in this clip. My skill with cartoon to Bible parallel in my opinion is a needed skill because it will reach the people that other ministries may not be able to relate to.
Finally, we come to the Gatomon character, a tormented seeker who was after her dream of being free to be her true identity. She found this in the character of Kari, her partner in the journey of being digidestined. In the Christian language we can exchange 'digidestined' for being alive in the spirit of Christ. Kari's strongest trait is light, so she is eventually given The Crest Of Light. This in my opinion is no accident and a definite spiritual symbol for spiritual leadership. In fact all digidestined have one of these crests and would also be strong in leadership traits. Not only that but any of these characters relate to the scriptures next in this lesson.
All of these is summed up with this Bible passage.
The Bible states in I Corinthians 12: 1-31a
1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.
3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,
24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
Linking to the cartoons and kid shows what do all the scriptures in this lesson mean to you?
The reason for this partcular passage to sum things up is this; the cartoon philosophies are pretty much the same. Every cartoon and kid show character found that partnership and friendship are depression breakers. Their individual gifts are handy ones to spread the good they are supposed to.
The Muppet monster had a life giving outlook, Adam has the gift of teaching and we can only presume that strength is portrayed on his student Sean who looks like he's very receptive to learning and then leading later, Gadget invents, Gatomon shows that she has kindness, power, and a great heart.
This may not be the entire solution, but in my opinion is a very good start. Faith in Jesus is the key because when and where the Lord is concerned, outright depression has to take a back seat and eventually will be eliminated because depression threatens our true destiny and identity, to be our unique selves in Him and one body, so Jesus must help and will.
Finally to really hit this home, let's look at one more Bible passage.
The Bible states in I John 4: 11-12
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Depression can be a very big disability, but it doesn't have to be. Understand that I know that depression can be tough, but loneliness and lack of purpose don't have to win the day. They must lose. Depression has always also been one of the biggest liars because it tricks you into thinking you are alone when in actuality, the exact opposite is true. Isolation isn't how God's kingdom works because we are made to work together for one purpose; we are meant to use our very unique gifts for God's kingdom and to bring glory and praise to Him.