Welcome to Tennant Across the Pond

Thanks for coming by--and welcome to Tennant Across the Pond, my online journal which will serve to update friends and family about my upcoming trips to Formby, U.K.

I will be in Formby twice in the next six months, serving with Formby Baptist Church. The dates for the trip are:

March 5-22 and May 16-July 12.

For updates, info, and reflections, read on.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twelve Days

Twelve days. Only twelve more days left in Formby before Lauren, Josiah and I fight our way through airports, fly across the Atlantic, and then part ways as we each travel to our final destination.

On Sunday evening, the three of us, along with my host sister Hannah, took a drive down to London and spent all day Monday and Tuesday in one of the most historic cities in the world. And, I am proud to say, we saw nearly everything there was to see. Not, perhaps, in the greatest detail (to enter the various historical sights, such as Westminster Abbey, cost about fifteen pounds; this is far out of the realm of a poor college student's budget) but we saw what we went there to see.

I woke up this morning, my legs sore from two days of endless walking, realizing that my time here is coming to a close. I have only two more sermons to preach; I will not be teaching any further weekly Bible studies because Josiah will be taking the last two. In other words, our official duties--those that we are highly visible for--will be drawing to a close. Our less visible responsibilities, however, will remain the same and even increase.

We will be each having a lot of one-on-one chats with people here over the next twelve days; in addition, we've been invited over a number of peoples' homes for dinner. There will be many, many informal times of counseling, pastoring, and caring for the people here.

This is, I think, because our time here has gone incredibly fast. I honestly cannot believe that the calendar is about to roll over into July, and that my last year of studies looms greater and greater on the horizon with each passing day. And the temptation is to fall away from being fully present, as a dear, dear friend of mine recently pointed out to me.

Indeed, the temptation is to allow my mind to drift to what is coming next, instead of staying put here, in the present. This is a particularly important battle, because the people I have been called to serve are not in the future--they are here in the present. And, because the grass is always greener on the other side, though I long for foods laced with high-fructose corn syrup and my parents' cooking, when I arrive back in the US, I will surely miss Coke that tastes of actual sugar and the crepes that have graced each week.

Indeed, though there is a part of me that longs to be with my family, I know that when I am with my family, there will be a part of me that longs to be with my family here. We always seem caught between these two--a longing to be somewhere else. Perhaps it is because, in our deepest hearts, we know that we are exiles and strangers in a foreign land, and so we always want to dust off this mortal coil and go to where we truly belong.

Or maybe it is that, when we love someone--that is, when we selflessly and sacrificially give ourselves away with no expectation of return--those people and places to whom we've given ourselves always call us back with the softest of whispers and the deepest of longings. Perhaps it's because when we give ourselves away, part of us remains with the person to whom we gave ourselves away.

Twelve days. Twelve days to give a little more of Kyle to people here, and then I am back with those who were given parts of me so long ago. But before that saddened departure and that glorious reunion, there is work to do while I remain a tenant across the pond.

1 comment:

  1. When you leave, your mind will take a snapshot of that dear little village street, and it will play over and over in your mind in an endless loop...and it warms your heart. Savor these days, sir. That place doesn't leave you the same!