One of my Facebook friends that also has children with Tourette Syndrome shared a post this morning that I felt was so important that it not only needed to be shared on my Facebook page, but also needed to be shared here on my blog, as well. This post was a letter written by Richard Paul Evans, author of the Michael Vey series of books. That letter, titled 'To the woman at church who sent me an anonymous letter', was one that brought tears to my eyes. (Please use the link in the letter title to view the letter itself.)
Richard Paul Evans had visited a church to share the Word with those within the church. During his visit, his tics had been quite apparent. One of the ladies within the church took those tics as being punishment from God for Mr. Evans' sins. We are all sinners, which is why God sent His son into the world to die for our sins - to give us forgiveness for those sins. He does not punish us for our sins by giving us tics or other neurological conditions.
The very idea that people still believe neurological conditions can be the result of our sins is one that angers me. Putting this idea in the heads of those who suffer from tics, seizures, etc can be damaging in so many ways. As if knowing they are different isn't hard enough on those with these conditions, they often times deal with bullying, staring, and countless questions. Suggesting that they are being punished for their sins is even more damaging, Those that are more prone to believing this, rather than accepting the truth that it's caused by neurological disorders, will only suffer more from their desire to be more perfect in hopes that the tics will go away.
I think that Richard Paul Evans had the perfect response to this letter. He, like me, hurts for all of those who could fall victim to these false accusations. I can only hope and pray that his letter has found its way to the writer of the original anonymous letter, opening her heart to the truth about the author and others with neurological disorders. In the mean time, I pray that it has also found its way to others with similar beliefs, helping them to gain better understanding of what Tourette Syndrome really is.