In April, just a few weeks into my new routine of working from home and ordering groceries online and only visiting with people through my computer screen, I sent out an email with this subject heading: “Honestly hadn’t planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.”
And here we are in Advent.
A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends from a distance, and I’m preparing to do the same for Christmas. My work-at-home habits continue, with sporadic visits to the office, where I stand far away from co-workers as we catch up with one another from behind masks. Every Sunday morning, I prepare coffee and toast and settle in front of my computer to worship with my Friendship Church family via Zoom.
Over the warm summer and early autumn months, I enjoyed outdoor visits with friends in Covid-safe ways. Now, as temperatures have cooled and infection rates have spiked, I am hunkered down for the duration—me and my (relatively) affectionate cat and my (thank you, God!) reliable Wi-Fi connection.
It feels redundant to list the many ways this has been the Hardest Year Ever. Instead, I’ll share a few ways I have experienced the Light breaking through the darkness that has characterized 2020:
- Weekly Zoom calls with my brothers and their spouses, nearly every Saturday night since sometime in April—we are in touch more frequently now than since we all left home!
- Encouraging reports about the creative ways our staff are connecting with college students and walking with them through this hard time, even from a physical distance
- A more relaxed pace of life as my daily commute has turned into a stroll from my bedroom to my kitchen to my home office
- Zoom visits with friends—including a virtual reunion of my Allegheny College discipleship group (shout out to Ann, Brenda, Christine, Dorcas, Lori, Michelle, Terri, and Virginia!)
- Time to reflect and revisit and reevaluate the ways things have “always” been done
- Your generosity in continuing to support my work with the CCO, even and especially during these uncertain times
I wrote for this year’s CCO online Advent devotional, focusing on a prayer from Saint Teresa of Avila, which I learned during my years ministering to students at Gannon University. I pray this for each one of you during this Advent season—that you may experience the hope, love, joy, and peace promised in Jesus Christ:
Let nothing disturb thee, let nothing frighten thee. Everything is changing; God alone is changeless. Patience attains the goal. The one who has God lacks nothing. God alone fills all our needs.
With love and gratitude,
To give to my ministry: ccojubilee.org/amaczuzak or send a check to CCO, 5912 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206