The vulnerability of tears

Tears come from the heart and not from the brain. 

Leonardo da Vinci

I have never liked the vulnerability of tears. I keep them for private places and dear friends. I don’t like the fact that they make me look like I’m not coping when in fact they are the reminder that I am simply feeling.

This was brought home to me when meeting with two men in Rwanda who had taken part in a forgiveness and reconciliation workshop. One of the men had been responsible for killing much of the other man’s family in the 1994 genocide but as they sat before me, they had chosen forgiveness of themselves and one another.

But one of the men, the perpetrator, could not hold back the tears. They fell from his eyes, down his face, onto his shirt, and he refused to wipe them away.

He told me, “I was an evil man. I had a heart of stone. Even after the courts, my heart was like stone. I could not feel his pain. But now. Now I cannot imagine that I have done these things. Now my heart is soft.” 

That’s why he doesn’t stop the tears. They are a beautiful reminder of a heart that’s come to life.

About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.