Over the last week, I’ve been at various events around Grand Rapids and Holland and have had the odd, but very delightful, experience of people (many of whom I hadn’t previously met) coming up to me and telling me that they read my blog postings here.

I am never not surprised.

Flattered–yes.

Humbled–yes.

Amazed–yes.

But, to be honest, though I’ve been writing here (mostly) every other Wednesday for all but one of the years of the blog’s existence, I’m no Jane Eyre. I never really believe anyone is reading me and my small musings. I mean, I do see the analytics very occasionally, so I know you’re out there, and I’m always so grateful when folks respond in the comments or send me a note.

But to think that someone is taking precious time out of a day–busy with many competing claims–to read my thoughts…well, that is truly something special. An honor difficult to put into words.

So let me thank all of you who are, indeed, faithful readers. Readers who appreciate the kind of discourse we try to promote here, who aren’t afraid to come with us as we ask hard questions. Or simply come along for a poem or a prayer or a different way to articulate an old truth. Readers who think that a Reformed approach might help us come to more capacious, more generous ways of thinking. Y’all are a pretty rare lot.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that we who volunteer as the writers here bring something different to each of our daily offerings. But we are united in our sense that spaces like this, ones that cultivate better conversation and deeper thinking, are always vital, but perhaps especially now in a time where more seems to divide us than ever before.

Would you be so kind as to help us cultivate this space–keep the virtual lights on, as it were? Though we writers contribute our thoughts gratis, the internet isn’t really free when it comes to website maintenance and the larger vision of this work. There’s a blue button up top if you’d be willing to invest a little in this venture that we know depends on readers like you. Every little bit helps–we are appreciative of every dollar, especially if your gift is recurring.

Thank you, dear readers!

Donating is simple.
Look for the big, blue DONATE buttons and click there.
There is likely a button at the bottom of the screen, in the center,
or in the upper right corner — depending on your device.
A regularly recurring gift is especially welcome.
Thanks for your support!

Jennifer L. Holberg

I’ve taught English at Calvin College since 1998–where I get to read books and talk about them for a living. What could be better? 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 the founding co-editor of the Duke University Press journal Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture (and yes, I realize that that is a very long subtitle). As an Army brat, I’ve never lived anywhere as long as I’ve now lived in Grand Rapids, a city I've come to love. I count myself rich in friends and family. I collect cookbooks (and also like to cook), listen to all kinds of music, and watch all manner of movies and tv shows. I love George Eliot, Jane Austen, Marilynne Robinson, Dante, E.M. Delafield, Tennyson, Hopkins, and Charlotte Bronte (among others). And I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that said: “I’d rather be reading Flannery O’Connor.” I don't have the car anymore, but the sentiment is still true.

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