All Posts By

Debra Rienstra

Essay

Working Up a Sweat, Reformed Style

I took up “running” after age 50, mostly because I don’t like exercising. I wanted a way to work up a health-enhancing sweat in as little time as possible. Get it over with quickly, was the idea. I call it…
Calvin College
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