Father Ethan Moore, Director of Campus Ministry, Shares a College Experience Amid Covid-19.
With a week left of school at Wright State and the RaiderNation, it is safe to say it has been a unique semester. Just a little over a month ago I was returning to Dayton from a mission trip in Denver, Colorado where I was able to join a crew of our students and FOCUS missionaries where we had the extreme joy of serving a homeless population known by the organization Christ in the City. After a week of building community, sharing our hearts, being on a mission, and growing in love for one another and Jesus, we were set-to-jet when we came back on campus. God had done something deep in our hearts and we were stoked to come back to our school world ablaze with the newly kindled fire of the Holy Spirit.
And Then Came Corona…
It’s like the end of a bad dad joke… “and then came Corona.” Within one week, face-to-face classes were over and public Masses were suspended; within two weeks, all students were asked to vacate from the premises. Ok, take your pointer finger and move it quickly up and down over your lips while making a gibberish sort of noise. Confused? Exactly! Confusion, disappointment, sadness, grief, anger… these were just a few of our headliner emotions that made themselves known on the stage of our reactions. The question quickly became: And now what? What do we do? How do we respond? What are the needs of our people? These are all valid questions and good to ponder, but I think what we wanted most was to know in what ways we could control the situation.
Corona Takes Aim and a New Course Develops.
Corona and the collapse of our plans for the semester set us on a new course where, from a place of social distance, there was an opportunity for personal intimacy. We love to know what we are doing, what things are going to look like, how to be successful, and all of that with plenty of time to prepare. With Corona, none of that was offered. Instead what was given to us was an exposure to the neediness of our humanity.
In our nature, we desire to be seen, known, and loved. Often we find this fulfilled in ways that we are familiar with or comfortable enough with so as to acquiesce and be willing to try because of the hope of something more that is not yet ours. This might be a major, a friendship, a membership in a club, or group, but is our faith also an option? Now, in silence and separation, we have all been moved into space where God is present. Otherwise, what else is there? Jesus rose from the dead and made no unclear or uncertain terms and yet some were distracted, doubted, or missed this ultimate truth that changes everything.
Corona has changed this semester and our lives, but I wonder if it is only to set us free from our need to control or cling to our ideas of what God wants to do and instead be open to the unique intimacy He has desired for us from the beginning. Humans have been the crown of creation from the first moment when our Lord placed the stars in the sky and the grass in the fields; it was there when we were given a personal intimacy with Him that left no doubt of His tender care. Adam and Eve were enlivened by the Creator’s breath, words, and ultimately His love. Maybe, just maybe, He’s allowed this time not to confuse us or have us suffer, but to allow us the opportunity to reclaim who we are and what we are made for. We are His own and we are made for His attention and love. Now is our chance to choose it.