Return of the Warrior Maiden: A Review Essay

Return of the Warrior Maiden: A Review Essay

Played by the splendid Gal Gadot, this Wonder Woman is fit, fleet, and fabulous. From a movie-making point of view, though, that was the easy part. What sets this movie apart in its genre is a fresh, thoughtful character arc, one that perhaps only a female superhero tale could sustain.

Salvete Omnes: Commencement Best Practices

Salvete Omnes: Commencement Best Practices

Meanwhile, Harvard holds their commencement exercises outdoors, rain or shine. This year, there was no shine. So 32,000 damp people negotiated regalia, umbrellas, and uncomfortable folding chairs. My husband and I, in a stroke of boldness and foresight, figured out how to watch via livestream in the comfort of one of the residence houses. Perfect.

Preparedness is Key

Preparedness is Key

With everything going on in the news this week, we might as well come right out and discuss what we’re all thinking about anyway: the apocalypse.

Bonne Bell Takes Me Back

Bonne Bell Takes Me Back

The first issue arrived in November. I remember being so excited, I brought it along to catechism class on a Wednesday afternoon. How I gazed at the beautiful older girl on the cover—perfect teeth, clear skin, gorgeous late-70s hair. I opened to the first page and… behold, the mystery.

Dark Vocation

Dark Vocation

Watson basically teaches Sherlock how to be in a human relationship, and unlike previous Sherlocks, this one slowly concedes that following a life philosophy other than “everyone must serve my genius” might actually be a wiser way to live.

Lectures: A Triptych

Lectures: A Triptych

There’s something irresistible and mesmerizing about Coates’s voice. I found Between the World and Me deeply compelling, partly because of Coates’s muscular, precise prose. He’s one of our finest essayists today, in the tradition of James Baldwin and others.

Bewildered in the Wilderness

Bewildered in the Wilderness

I wonder if that is the true definition of wilderness: places where we find ourselves unprepared and bewildered. No solution seems obvious or forthcoming. Sometimes we can’t even name the problems. We wander like those other wilderness-dwellers, the Israelites, disorganized and ill-equipped, chasing after some strange, divine smoke-and-fire. It’s easy to succumb to temptations. There are wild beasts.

Notes from the Lament Team

Notes from the Lament Team

The mood is oddly chipper considering we are about to play for a funeral. This is what we do at our church: when someone dies, a call goes out to all our regular musicians to play at the funeral. We don’t have praise teams, but I suppose, this afternoon, we are the lament team.

Pious Petunia’s Guide to Coping Mechanisms

Pious Petunia’s Guide to Coping Mechanisms

Dear Pious Petunia: How do I cope?

Miss P: I’ve been receiving many letters of late whose plaintive pleas boil down to that very question. Thank you for summing up the general mood so concisely. What with a cacophony of conflict and chaos in Washington, the looming gloom of global climate cataclysm, the tragic nexus of tax season and Lent…. Dear me.

Art and Healing Trauma: The Church Should Lead the Way

Art and Healing Trauma: The Church Should Lead the Way

We often do not know how to give grief and lament the space and time they require. However, painting, sculpture, music, dance and other forms can express unutterable emotion, create space for reflection, and provide healing. Art can help us do the “Holy Saturday” work of acknowledging the darkness, opening a space to respond with and beyond words.

I have published books on motherhood, Christian spirituality, and language in worship. I write regularly about all sorts of topics for The Twelve, and I teach literature and writing at Calvin College, where I have served on the faculty since 1996.

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