Andy was in junior high school, I was in seminary. We became friends. God used Andy to show me what it means to live life with enthusiasm.
Andy and I first met somewhere around 1991.
I was the youth pastor of Maplewood Baptist Church, in Malden MA.
Andy was a junior high student. Full of energy, a little irreverent, a master at pushing your buttons. Exactly the kind of kid I loved spending time with.
My earliest memories of Andy were the times I drove him home from youth meetings early. Youth group lasted for two hours. He was always welcome to attend and participate fully. When he became disruptive, I would drive him the few blocks home.
That may sound harsh, but Andy had a way of undoing a room in mere moments. His energy was mesmerizing, and once he was losing control, there was no getting him back.
Some of my favorite times each week were the moments we spent driving to his house. He educated me on what was most important in his world. To this day, I cannot see a commercial for professional wrestling without thinking about Andy. [Read more…]