Updated: Jul 3, 2019
by Christine Ingram
Henri Nouwen wrote about “Words That Become Flesh” in a little devotional book, Bread for the Journey. “…When our words become flesh in our own lives and the lives of others, we can change the world. Jesus is the word made flesh. In him speaking and acting were one.”
We celebrated a special occasion on Sunday, June 23 – Ricardo Moniz’s retirement as Westview’s head custodian. The gym was full with people eating cake and listening to and making speeches in Ricardo’s honour. For 22 years, Ricardo has looked after the building and grounds as well as looking after people, but not in that order of importance. He said many times that the most important part of his job has been looking after people.
Over the years many people have entered the church during the week looking for friendship, a place to pray, information, food, directions – they’ve all been assisted warmly and with a “How can I help you?” Ricardo chose to make thousands of cups of coffee for us over the years (no, it’s not in his job description) for the staff and for many groups because of his servant’s heart and on at least one occasion was teased about it and not in a loving way. He has been patient with people who felt that they needed to point out a spot that he missed, and how they found that spot, I’ll never know, because everything sparkles with cleanliness. Ricardo has been a listening ear to many people.
The church sign was a solemn responsibility for Ricardo, again – not in his job description – but he accepted the challenge to find words that honour the Lord Jesus and that are positive messages. Many people have commented how they are encouraged by the words on the sign. One young woman wrote to us how the words on the sign touched her heart after a death in her family, and then she stopped in to the church to have a conversation.
Ricardo and Kathy are not moving away and will worship with us in the future and so, thankfully, we will still enjoy their friendship and engage with them as fellow travellers on our faith journeys. After 18 years of working together, I will certainly miss Ricardo being here during the week but I am so grateful for his example of what following Jesus is all about – “words made flesh” – words in action – showing the love of Jesus to everyone you encounter.