It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, each photo in photographer Hank Rintjema’s new collection “The Book: Take It, Read It, Live It!” is worth more than 741,000 words. Rintjema, a member of Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ont., created a collection of portraits of individuals reading their Bible in various times and places. Each week during the month of January, a new image was displayed at Immanuel CRC.
Rintjema wanted to find a way to use his gifts to further God’s kingdom. Through these images, he hopes to depict how the Bible is an intrinsic aspect of the subject’s daily life, whether at work, sitting in a park, on a bus, or at home. “The idea just popped into my head. It was so simple but powerful,” said Rintjema.
Rev. Anthony Elenbaas, pastor of youth and discipleship/outreach at Immanuel, saw the project as a great opportunity to encourage others to engage with God's Word. “Pastors often encourage Bible reading. Hank's project gives that encouragement in an earthy and compelling way,” said Elenbaas. It portrays witnesses who claim the Bible is still relevant in their lives, a valuable statement in an age where Bible literacy is declining, he explained.
“This project has captured the imagination of the congregation. On Sunday mornings, I hear a constant refrain outside my study of ‘Who is it this week?’ as people pause to inspect the new portraits on the wall on the way to the sanctuary,” said Elenbaas.
Rintjema, who owns Positive Image photography studio in Hamilton, Ont., loves capturing people through his work and has specialized in portrait photography for 26 years. When this collection is complete, Rintjema hopes to feature the portraits at a local art crawl.
“This is a way to capture, through images, that God is in everything we do,” explained Rintjema. “I hope that people will look at these images and wonder about the Bible.”