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Have a Lachrymose Lent Joel 2:1-2,12-17

Have a Lachrymose Lent

When we cry, our tears may be tears of revenge, seduction, escape and empathy. But on Ash Wednesday, Joel the prophet issues a call for the kind of weeping that accompanies an authentic change of heart.

There must be a gezillion reasons why human beings (uniquely) break down and have a good cry now and again. Some of us have our tear ducts so close to our eyes, that we can, as they say, cry at the drop of a hat. But not CBS anchorman, Dan Rather. This hard-biting journalist is widely known for his aloofness and apparent imperturbability in times of crises. That's why the country was amazed to watch Rather cry when appearing on the Letterman Show in September, 2001, following the terrorist's attack. Dan Rather doesn't cry. But Dan Rather does cry. President Bush likewise teared up in an informal news conference, confessing, "I'm a lovin' kind of guy." For many, it humanized both men.

Crying isn't so hard for a lot of us.
Our kids cry when their feelings are injured, when Mommy leaves them with the sitter, or when the teacher scolds them for being disruptive in class. We cry during arguments, at the loss of a loved one, when watching a movie, listening to a song, when a passing thought...

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