Brad Zwiers

Brad Zwiers (’12) graduated from Calvin College in 2012 and Western Theological Seminary in 2015. He will not be graduating from any more schools. He often stares at books he wishes he could read but knows he will not finish and goes for long walks with his wife, Gwyn. Sometimes he plays basketball and always he follows the greatest sporting club in the world, Liverpool F.C.

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New Normal

The server, now finishing up her closing work, stopped all of a sudden and said to me, “Oh my gosh, you don’t have a phone or anything to look at?” I held up my LG. She literally put her hand to her mouth.

Saying A Sermon

Keep talking. Eventually, you assume, something will make sense. Pieces and parts of pieces will be put together, and the sense-making that has happened in your head will become public knowledge.

Heap of Ruins

Here, somewhere between the house of God, where God’s presence dwells, and a heap of ruins. Call on the name of the Lord.

Aunt Jackie

The litany ends and we sing a few carols. Aunt Jackie sings the loudest and there’s a kind of hope pulling at the corner of her voice that makes you think that everything, all of it, is true.

Ancestry

This year’s paprikash dinner was Shakespearean—brutal in its unintentional comedy and not without its tragedy.

Presence

Moses stares at the bush. It’s burning—blazing, even—but it’s somehow not consumed. He takes his sandals off at that place, not ready to walk onto holy ground, not quite certain that he will not be consumed.

Inevitable! Magical! Genius!

There’s a large chance that right now I’m making something out of that goal and that moment that wasn’t there. It’s just a game, you’ll say, and you’re right.

Where We Are

A friend confessed that she could easily pour all her money into eating at GR restaurants. Another, smiling wryly, said quickly: “I couldn’t. I’m not sure I have the wardrobe for it.”

Ten Minutes

Then the boxes are labeled and slid into the corner, waiting ominously to be lugged onto a trailer. They speak a steady word: change is coming; change is here.

Villainy

But what else? What more can we say about heroes and villains? I don’t think it requires much life experience to realize that our heroes are often not so heroic, and our villains hold some goodness somewhere in themselves.

ALL CAPS Eden

I have a tattered, taped-up copy of East of Eden that I’ve read somewhere around ten to twelve times. Whenever people ask me my favorite book, I’m quick and decisive.

Enter

You will find dark corners and blood capsules, both of which hide secrets. Here you will find costumes, gimmicks, and masks all covering something but creating something else.

Catharsis

That computer fan breathes so loud now that I can’t ignore it. My mind fixates on the sound and won’t let it go, an act pretty typical of my mind in the midst of anxiety.

The Middle World

The advance of modern science has also shaped our sensibilities in such a way that we don’t have room for mystery or a reality infused with another reality.

Common Ground

We park up against the failing fence near the bathrooms. We get out of the car, feel our feet on ground, and keep talking. A lot has come before us here.

Weaker Than

So if a thesis has to be mined from The Weakerthans’ incredible corpus, it must at least mention strength, the loss of it, and its recapture.

Power Crazy Redux

See the thing about power is, God, we love to critique it but when it’s ours, we hold that shit so tightly it would cost us our life to let go.

Gone Girl and Protest

We have to rail against injustice and doggedly lament evil. We have to mourn and cry out and punch the air and scream that this is not the way things are supposed to be.

Nick Miller

Nick’s life is a mess, he knows it, and yet he moves through. Cynicism lurks behind almost everything he says (“Don’t trust your government, kids”), but it never dominates his character.

How We Learn

I realize this sounds rather impressive, a Hebrew “intensive” packed with flow charts, tense paradigms, parsing worksheets, and a severe lack of cognates.

Leaving

What if I still went out for drinks with those block-building friends I had in kindergarten? What if I still talked with my favorite deskmate from elementary?

On Prayer (Sort Of)

The idea of prayer “kicking things off” isn’t all that poor. God should be at the beginning of what we do. But it becomes a problem when the only time we pray is at the start of something.

The Small Things That Scare Us

Ticks are tiny mini-monsters, basically the equivalent of the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker except they carry Lyme disease and not superpowers.

I’m Not Part of Me

Though part of me might wince at how bildungsroman this all is, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s where I am. Besides, aren’t we always “coming of age”?

March Madness

Coach and player, mentor and mentee, human being and human being. It reminds me that sports, in the end, do not matter. But also that they do.

Dying of Thirst

I try and roll out of the fetal position and into some semblance of a standing straight-back stretch, but I can’t hold the stretch for long though, because like I said, I am dying of thirst.

Cambodia, Pt. 2

It is impossible to come back from that trip and not feel encouraged by what we saw and heard and encountered: a people standing upright and resolute, and new life filling the cracks.

The Darkness and the Light

If you’ve paid attention to end-of-the-year album lists, you’ve probably noticed a soft pink album with nine capitalized letters on its cover sitting somewhere near the top.