I’ve always seen him as the strong, silent, steady type standing behind Peter the leader. I see Peter out front while Andrew is behind the scenes. Peter out front keeping the public appointments that Andrew was faithful and detail oriented enough to remember to put in the calendar. Peter making a mess. Andrew cleaning it up. Peter stepping out of the boat, sinking in the waves and Andrew waiting with the towel to dry him off. Peter denying the Lord and repenting. Andrew suggesting that the Lord would probably forgive him. Peter being good at the big shows of faith. Andrew plodding along ready to follow through and persevering to the end.
There’s not that much in the gospel to suggest this except a little details I have always liked. It’s in the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus tells the disciples to get food to feed the crowd. It’s Andrew who comes forward with the boy’s lunch. I reckon Andrew had the faith that Jesus could do something. He offers the lunch, then in a moment of self doubt–and maybe seeing the smirks of the other apostles he says, “But what is that among so many?”
That’s why I like Andrew–because he has that spark of faith, but he also has that shadow of doubt. He has total faith in Christ the Lord, but does not have total faith in himself.
I’m not like that, but I admire people like that. If I’m right, Andrew is the patron saint of all those faithful, solid, dependable behind the scenes people. Where would we be without them? They’re the ones I depend on day by day in ministry. It’s the support staff–always there–always reliable–always following through–always playing second fiddle.
I think that’s what Andrew was like–the rock behind the Rock. If you have someone in your life like that, why not celebrate St Andrew’s Day by thinking of them and thanking them for what they do?