Corona Diaries, Day 20: Thursday, April 2, 2020
“Honestly hadn’t planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.”
This tweet from Andy Crouch was posted on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020.
Coincidentally, that’s the last day I spent any appreciable time away from my house. Yep. Friday the 13th.
I got up that morning and went into the office as usual. At lunchtime, I gathered with friends and coworkers around the desk on the first floor of CCO HQ to enjoy takeout from Valley View Presbyterian Church’s fish fry, delivered by my friend Jen Pelling.
I spent the afternoon responding to email messages and working my way through the usual end-of-week catch-up tasks. I started a draft of the following Monday’s “Weekly News” email to CCO staff. I also checked in with Matt and Heather, the CCO’s IT staff, to see if I might borrow a CCO laptop in case I needed to work from home the following week.
Listening to the news of the spreading threat of COVID-19 had led me to believe that this was an increasingly likely scenario. Heather kindly set up a laptop for me so that I could log into the CCO network from home.
Nearly three weeks later, here I am, typing this letter to you on that very computer, with my furry “coworker” dozing in the chair beside me.
How are you doing?
I have been in touch with some of you, and have been grateful for the miracle of technology that allows us to be connected, whether across miles and a few feet—sidewalk-to-porch visits, phone calls, texts, emails, and Zoom calls that enable me to see my coworkers’ faces as we meet, or my book group friends’ faces as we enjoy a virtual happy hour.
For the last two Sundays (and several more Sundays to come), my church has also been gathering to worship via Zoom.
This Lent has been the “Lentiest” Lent I imagine most of us have ever experienced. Like Andy Crouch, who spoke at Jubilee 2020 at the end of February, I honestly hadn’t planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.
This Lenten season,I have been managing bouts of anxiety about my own health and the health of those I love. My brother Vern has left his New York City apartment and is working remotely from his house in rural Connecticut. My brother John is still leaving his house to work four days a week, as his job at a scrap metal yard is considered essential (like the steel industry, connected to national defense). So far, they are both healthy.
My coworker Glenn, who was diagnosed positive for COVID 19 a couple weeks ago, is finally starting to recover, for which we are all so grateful. I caught a cold in early March and have been dealing with a cough ever since then. And now it’s allergy season, so I’m constantly monitoring my own symptoms. But I haven’t been in close contact with anyone for nearly three weeks and do not have a fever, so I’m beginning to relax a bit about my own health. But still staying home! I have come to think of “social distancing” as the introvert’s superpower.
Please let me know how I can be praying for you. And let me know if you are interested in catching up—via email, text, phone, or Zoom. Time for good conversations is one of the good gifts of this otherwise sobering season of quarantining.
As we head into Palm Sunday and Holy Week, I am leaning into the reality of the cross and the promise of the Resurrection in ways I never have before. And I am counting my blessings every day. Each of you has a prominent place on that list. Thank you for your friendship, care, support, and for being so much more than a “virtual” part of my life, even in this age of coronavirus
Grace and peace,
Senior Editor, CCO
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. —Matthew 6:33-34
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.