Monday, April 03, 2023

Dean Powery on the Redemptive Power of Tears

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In a column for the (Duke) Chronicle, Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery reflects on the tears being shed for the people killed in the recent mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. He cites the words of the fifth-century, North African theologian Augustine of Hippo at the death of his mother: “The tears which I have been holding back streamed down, and I let them flow as freely as they would, making of them a pillow for my heart.”

"Weeping can be a spiritual practice, as Augustine shows; tears create a pillow for his love," Dean Powery writes.

He also cites the tears shed by Jesus, as described in the Gospels of John and Luke.

"The weeping of Jesus is a reminder that we, too, will weep, not only because of inevitable suffering due to the brokenness of this world, but because of love," Dean Powery says. "When something or someone has been lost, weeping reveals our love."

Read the column.