All Posts By

Debra Rienstra

Essay

Tragic Virtue Ecologies

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people, that they plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  --- Book of Common Prayer, 1559,…
Calvin College
Essay

How To Achieve Syllabus Efficiency

Higher education is all about “efficiencies” these days in budgets, class sizes, faculty-student ratio, etc. So I’ve been thinking about how I could be more efficient in my work. On a typical day, I prepare to teach three different texts…
Calvin College
Essay

Dwelling: A Scriptural Survey

“Why don’t they just move?” After the second hurricane in a few weeks, it’s hard not to ask this question about people who live in the swampy, vulnerable lowlands of America’s Southeast, especially Florida. It’s a callous question, as an…
Calvin College
Essay

The Weight of This Sad Time

Thankfully, I did not have to fly to London to see Ian McKellen play the role of King Lear. I only had to drive to Lansing, an hour away, and join about twenty other souls in a mostly empty movie…
Calvin College
Essay

O Rejoice in All Your Works

“The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw and knew I saw—all things in God and God in all things.” -- Mechthild of Magdeburg “You think you’re special? You’re not so special.” That’s the message, by one…
Calvin College
Essay

True Forms

“I was being unmade. I was no one.” – Orual, Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis After confirming the absolute veracity of Meghan Markle’s pregnancy—with twins!—from the gossip rags in the grocery checkout line the other day, I picked…
Calvin College
Essay

Pitcher’s Thistle

We chose the perfect day to hike the Dune Climb Trail at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore: seventy degrees, light breeze, a little gauzy cloud cover softening the sun. On a hotter day, this would have been a baking, miserable trek,…
Calvin College
Essay

Climate Fiction: Three Vectors

As you spend a few last hours this summer in your Adirondack chair under a shady canopy of leaves—with that feeling of autumn’s imminence causing you to contemplate decline, aging, and the end of civilization—you might consider distracting yourself with…
Calvin College
Essay

One Day on the Mount

Do not worry. I get it. You’re trying to be gentle and reassuring and I appreciate that. I do. But you realize I have anxiety/depression, right? Runs in the family. Fairly mild, and I’m managing it in all the proper…
Calvin College