The Reverend David Nard died yesterday. A long time ago it seems, David called me one day because he had seen a promotion announcement about me in the local paper. David sold insurance at the time and he was following up on leads. He asked if I would meet with him to discuss my insurance needs. Surprisingly - especially to me - I said yes.
When we met I noticed the Episcopal Church shield on his lapel. "I'm an Episcopalian," I said. "Where do you go to church?" he asked. It ws pretty obvious that the answer was, "nowhere." David kept after me - not about insurance but about the church. I finally went one Sunday and never stopped. A few years later I entered the ordination process. David and family moved to western North Carolina, where he pursued Holy orders and was ordained deacon. He spent a decade as the Archdeacon of his diocese. He was a hospital chaplain and a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis.
Sadly - we saw little of each other as the years went by. A great failing of mine - perhaps because I was an Army brat, moving all the time - is that I make friends slowly and don't keep up when I move or they do.
Leslie and I saw David by chance, outside the Cathedral of All Souls in Ashville a few years ago. It was brief and cordial with promises to get together. We never did.
Meeting David and being invited back to Church has a lot to do - a very lot to do - with me being a priest of the Church today. He persisted in welcoming me, and I finally came home. I do wish I could have told him how important he was in my journey. Archdeacons are called "venerable". That's a good description of David. I will miss him.
May his soul through the mercies of God rest in Peace, and may light Perpetual shine upon him.