Sunday, August 7, 2011

One of a Kind

Moses Feliciano Ricardo Boquiren (1960 - 2011)

A friend passed away recently and not just a friend to me, but a friend to all. I could not let the end of his life pass by without comment.

I first met Moses back in 1999 at a church spaghetti dinner. My wife and I were visiting (first time visitors in fact), and we did not want to be presumptive about including ourselves in the spaghetti luncheon. We were about to leave when Moses caught us and invited us to stay. We declined and told him "go and have lunch with your church family". Moses said, "you are family" and so we stayed..... for years.

That was Moses. Radically inclusive. Radically welcoming. He was one of those very few people who was always "fully present" with you. When you were in his presence, you felt like you were the only person in the room.

Moses not only made you feel welcome, he made you laugh. He always had a joke on the tip of his tongue. He was a story teller and you found you could listen to his stories for hours. You left his presence feeling glad about the encounter.

He had a way of ingratiating himself with any person or any group. We took a trip to Ohio once and had dinner as the guests of an Amish family. The Amish children were fascinated with his Asian features. They asked him about his obviously non-Amish appearance. Moses explained that he was a "Flexican"....a Phillipino-Mexican.

At his standing-room-only funeral (which is a statement in itself), I saw so many different people, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, white collar, blue collar, and clerical collar. I heard stories about how he helped people, encouraged people, inspired people, and led people to faith.

In my estimation, Moses demonstrated living a Christian life better than most. His life and the testimonies about him have been an inspiration to me. I hope that I can learn from his example and become more inclusive, more encouraging, and more fully present with those who I encounter. By so doing I hope I can honor his life and honor the gift of God that he was to so many.