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This Space Intentionally Left Blank

I’ve given my professional life to words. I believe deeply in their significance and their power. And in the theological imperative to use them carefully, graciously, truthfully, well. I affirm that whole-heartedly.

But I don’t think more words are always the answer. Or at least as I thought about the blog for this week, not more words from me. So often I hear calls to listen, to make room for other voices, to yield the privilege of the floor. All well-intentioned. But these calls are usually accompanied by a long essay, often eloquent, often true, but that also still hoard the space. More talking, not enough listening. Plenty of time for this straight, middle-aged white lady to have her say. Pretty much all the time, to be honest.

Not today. I leave the space below deliberately blank to signal a commitment to humbly shut up. And I urge you to use the time you allotted to read this blog to do something intentional today:

  • to attend to a different voice. If you are white, to commit to reading/following on Twitter/listening to podcasts by people of color. Survey your media consumption–who has your time? who shapes your views?
  • to read Scripture–a psalm of lament, anything from the life of Jesus in order to remind yourself what Christianity values
  • to pray for all those you name as enemy
  • to plan one specific action that you will undertake to help increase God’s love in whatever way matches your gifts, ability, and calling.

Let those who have ears hear.




































Jennifer L. Holberg

I am professor and chair of the Calvin University English department, where I have taught a range of courses in literature and composition since 1998. An Army brat, I have come to love my adopted hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Along with my wonderful colleague, Jane Zwart, I am the co-director of the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing, which is the home of the Festival of Faith and Writing as well as a number of other exciting endeavors. Given my interest in teaching, I’m also the founding co-editor of the Duke University Press journal Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture. My book, Nourishing Narratives: The Power of Story to Shape Our Faith, was published in July 2023 by Intervarsity Press.

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