Last year, I wrote about the things I’ve learned to appreciate about the two places I have called “home.” The truth is, though, that what any of us enjoy – and miss – most when leaving is the people, dear friends we come to know and love in each.
Shane Claiborne once defined community as surrounding yourself with people who are like the person you want to become. I can think of no better way than this to describe my experience in the Tansen community.
It is true professionally – of colleagues who challenged me with their consistent example of loving, diligent care to patients. They each brought a wealth of experience that they freely shared. They’ve also had to wade through their own share of tough headwaters, emerging on the other side with even greater resilience and beauty.
It is equally true personally, as I shared life day to day alongside these same friends, with their grit and perseverance, their humility, their humor, and above all their utter self-forgetfulness. I’ve learned that the best communities are those that at first may seem rather ordinary – until you scratch the surface to find pure, fire-tested gold.
This diverse Tansen community, a body that images the beauty of Christ among the nations, draws out because of its diversity the many facets of God. How I will miss hearing the beautiful sound of Scriptures read and prayers prayed in accents from around the globe – French and German, British, Australian and Irish, Dutch, Afrikaans, Tamil, Korean and Canadian – and yes of course, Nepali too!
I’ve now finally arrived home in the States, after a wonderful week in the UK with two other Tansen friends – a sort of “pre-re-entry,” as it were. Today’s blog is reserved as a tribute to each of you in my dear, and dearly missed Tansen community. I write with prayers for your continued unity, strength, and encouragement in our Lord.
And in the sure hope that it’s not goodbye but rather, for now, “See ya…”