Happy Birthday Andy!


If you asked ANYONE who lived in my town (past or present) or ANYONE who had ever visited my church, to use one word to describe/explain/get to the heart of it, that word would be simply:  Andy.  No question in my mind that Andy would be the first (and possibly only) thing that would come to people's minds when they think of the First Presbyterian Church.

Why would they think of Andy?  Well, he has been working at the church for 60 years.  (No, that's not a typo.)  He is a wealth of information; he knows EVERYTHING.  And to me (and I'm sure hundreds, if not more) is the heart and soul of the church.  No, let me change that he IS the church.  He is the essence of  (true) Christianity.  

If you don't know Andy, you might think that he is the church minister.  You would be wrong. Maybe he is the director of music or the head of Christian Education?  No.  He is the church sexton. (Google it if you don't know.) He is a humble servant. (Now who else could that refer to?  Who taught and preached that lesson?)  He is kind, compassionate, funny, dedicated, warm...I could go on and on and on with the descriptions. 

When I say that Andy is the heart and soul of the church, I mean it.  Even when the furnace is out (and that happens A LOT!), Andy can warm the room just by being there.  His personality beams through and even the darkest days are made lighter by him.

He has worked with countless people, many of whom I am sure have been difficult.  Yet Andy perseveres.  He deals (and has dealt) with the mundane and messy (you don't want to even know how messy), but I have never heard him complain.  (He must have at some point, right?)  He handles tasks that most would balk at and does so with grace.  Grace that has carried him through 60 years!  60 years!

Like most of us, Andy has had moments of joy and sorrow.  I have tried to  be a good friend and support him during times of sadness.  I know during those times he was surrounded by love. He has been a comfort to me during my own sorrow.  Even though the days were hot when my parents were buried, Andy was there.  His presence lifting me up like a cool breeze.  

Andy is like no other person I have met.  He is loved by young and old.  He was there the day I was baptized.  He was the first person my son "met" when I brought him to church as a baby.  Having Andy guide me with a newborn, I knew that all was going to be all right.

Andy is not a god; he is not perfect, but he has a way of showing the perfect joy of the world.  This world is a better place because of him.  And I am not the only one who will attest to that.  He has touched so many; enriched so many.  How has he done this?  By just being himself.

On this day, we celebrate Andy's 90th journey around the sun.  Yes, Andy is 90 years old and he STILL works at the church where he began his career 60 years ago.  Officially he doesn't work there full time, but the church is full of his time.  The building actually feels "different" (better) when he is there. Everything feels better when Andy is there.

Happy birthday Andy!  Thank you for blessing my family and myself with the gift that is you.  I've said it again and again, but you are a blessing to us all.  You are a gift that I will always be grateful for.

(Note:  I have not included a photo of Andy here because I don't have his permission and as I was writing this as a "surprise" I didn't want to ask)

Comments

  1. Beautiful - you captured Andy as only you can. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. You captured Andy beautifully. He was there when Craig and I were married. Andy was Always there! A comforting figure at church . God bless him. Grateful that I grew up knowing him. Happy Birthday Andy. God bless you.

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