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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil,
to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

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Monday, April 29, 2013

A message of peace and hope

I mentioned in my last post that the Greater Boston Area has been in a surreal "Twilight Zone" state of mind in the past few weeks. I will not give details, because I am sure just about every single person has learned of the horrific events at the 2013 Boston Marathon on Patriots' Day, Monday, April 15th. What I will say is that I have a new sense of immense pride for my state, my city and my pastor! Dr. Roberto Miranda is the Senior Pastor at Congregation Lion of Judah in Boston. Congregación León de Judá, to be exact, since it is mostly a Spanish-speaking congregation. This is the same church of which I have written so many times in regards to the special needs children's ministry. God led us to this place of worship after a difficult decision to leave our previous church after over a decade. I was pregnant with our little baby boy and we were a bit like Nomads.

Pastor Miranda is a family friend, in so many senses of the word! I have known him since my childhood, my parents knew him and his wife before they were married (matchmakers?!), he was my husband's beloved pastor in adolescence (such a critical time in any boy's life) and Dr. Miranda's grandson, was my little guy's first and only best friend! At our house we just know him as "Pastor Roberto," as the little man calls him. It seems almost irreverent to call him that after what I have to share.

Dr. Roberto Miranda was one of only a handful of faith leaders asked to speak at the recent interfaith service in the city of Boston titled "Healing our City." I have watched this video over and over and each time I pick up a new word, phrase or idea that is so inspiring, it fills my spirit with peace and hope. I am humbled to call this man of God my pastor and I feel even more unworthy of calling him our friend... but that's who he is and who he will continue to be. I thank God for choosing Dr. Miranda as His messenger for the city during these difficult times.

Although his message was meant to uplift a grieving city, so much of it applies to our lives as parents and family members of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Originally meant for those who were hurt or lost loved ones, this portion seems especially poignant for newly diagnosed families:
"We do pray that they also may receive the grace to look beyond this moment of suffering and to believe their life is far from over. That they can rise beyond their pain and their loss to become spiritually stronger and more agile. That they can find fullness of life, happiness and personal realization in the new normal that they now inhabit. May they never allow bitterness or hatred to linger more than a brief moment in their soul. May they receive that peace that passes all understanding." 


For a full transcript of the sermon please click here.

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