Large in thanks but small in size — that’s the advice of B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry about how to enjoy Thanksgiving this weekend. Alberta’s chief medical officer seconded the emotion, “This is not a normal Thanksgiving.” There’s also a personal reason this is not a normal Thanksgiving.
Pastors feel closer to certain congregants than others. Such relationships usually arise from working together in leadership groups or on projects. Neither is the reason Jocelyn and I knew Moises Domingos like family and that reason had more to do with him than us. On October 6th, Moises passed away at the age of 92. This is our tribute to him.
You could borrow Dr Henry’s phrase and say that Moises was “large in thanks but small in size”. And that is a compliment. What Moises lacked in stature he made up in character. Moises never served on a Board, or led a program or had his name on a ministry flagstaff. No one ever heard his voice at a business meeting or promoting a personal preference.
Most people didn’t know his name. They knew his face.
A Quiet Influence
He was the nice man with the charming smile who greeted people at Central and North Pointe for decades. He always had a kind word and a “good morning,” “here’s your bulletin” or depending on the season, “welcome to the Singing Christmas Tree”.
Moises was the man who others observed – and perhaps envied – receiving hugs from children, teens, young adults and adults.
Grateful is a perfect descriptor of his disposition. In the thirty years I knew him, there are no recollections of him complaining, even when he was in pain from cancer. He didn’t want to be a burden, only a blessing. Moises was thankful to grow up in Portugal, marry “the girl in the yellow dress,” immigrate to Canada and do outstanding work for the CN. He was a father to two daughters, grandfather to five and great-grandfather to eight.
Countless individuals and families were the beneficiaries of his kindnesses, generosity, friendship and advocacy. His only reward was in helping someone have a better day or life.
Salt of the Earth
Moises was who Jesus said we should be – the salt of the earth. Salt is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, value and usefulness. That was Moises and more. Perfect? Hardly and he would be the first to reject that descriptor. In fact, he would have have been very reluctant for me to draw attention to him in this post. Truly, he was the genuine expression of God’s love. Love enhances the sweetness of life.
When you make a batch of sweet cookies, note that the recipe calls for some salt in the mix. Why? Salt isn’t sweet, yet it is necessary for a perfectly delicious cookie. Why would you add salt to a sweet recipe? Because the nature of salt enhances the sweetness. Salt – and it only takes a small amount – improves and deepens the flavour of whatever it is mixed in.
That was Moises – small in stature, large in influence.
Moises was a man of honor.
I am thankful for Moises because he is an inspiration for grandparents who hope their descendants will have a strong faith in Jesus. Moises’ children, and grandchildren and the eldest of his great-grandchildren evidence a sincere, Christian faith.
Thanksgiving 2020 was not a normal Thanksgiving for all who called Moises “family”. An empty seat at the table was a reminder of the man who enhanced the sweetness of life.
Thank you, Moises Domingos.
Happy Thanksgiving to each reader. Please leave a memory you have of Moises or someone you are grateful for this Thanksgiving.
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