Friday, February 26, 2010

Tears In A Bottle




Lately, we have been visiting a friend in the hospital who cries when we pray for him. Some people do, and it's very touching. Tears can be a good thing. They are cleansing and renewing. I have read that studies were done on tears. Tears of sadness and tears of joy had different chemicals in them. Do you know that some people used to catch their tears in bottles? These bottles have been excavated in Israel, and found in other places, as well. Mourners filled the bottles with their tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of love. During the Victorian era, mourners cried into elaboratly decorated bottles. There are stories of widows sprinkling their tears on their husbands graves on the first anniversary of death. This marked the end of the mourning period. During the civil War, soldiers would leave their wives with a tear bottle. When they returned from the war, they could actually see how much their wives had cried for them. Many of these antique bottles are still around. My pictures are from the web, found on Google. These bottles are called a Tear Catcher or Lachrymatory. Lachrymation means to produce tears. They are usually two to four inches high and have a rubber seal to prevent evaporation. Who would buy such an artifact? What a truly sorrowful possession to own. A visible reminder of someones deep sorrow. Where did this whole idea come from? King David. We have it right here in Psalm 56:8 "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." God keeps track of all our sorrows. If He knows how many hairs are on our heads, He surely knows each and every tear we cry much more than a bottle can show. Truly, we don't need tear bottles when we have the love of God.

8 comments:

DawnTreader said...

I find that fascinating. I wonder if the tradition of tear bottles has anything to do with the expression to "bottle up feelings" - do you know?

Sandra said...

I have never heard this before about the tear bottles. I am a person who cries when sad, happy, mad, and if I had caught all the tears I have cried in my life, it would have to be a bottle that would hold a lake. i cry when I laugh to much and when something good happens and when something bad happens. this is really interesting. i am thinking about DawnTreader bottle up feelings remark.

grey like snuffie said...

I hopped over from Happily Retired when I saw your name on her comments...we share the same last name. This is so interesting. I have never heard of tear bottles. Very cool post!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Ginny, I need some of those tear bottles --since I can cry at the drop of a hat. I cry happy tears and sad ones.. I'm just an emotional person at heart... I could collect enough tears for George and me both to take a bath.... ha ha

While watching the Olympics the other night, I cried my heart out when the little Canadian girl skated so well--after just losing her mother this week... That's just ME!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

SquirrelQueen said...

The tear bottles are something new to me as well. While the contents are a reminder of sadness the bottles in your photo are gorgeous.

I wonder how many of the civil war wives filled their bottles with spring water? I mean, it would take a lot of tears to fill one of those bottles.

Dawn has a good question about the old saying, I wonder too if it is connected to these bottles.

happily retired gal said...

I knew about the difference between tears of joy and sadness but knew nothing about tears in a bottle. Fascinating post. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs and blessings,

Annie said...

Deeply, deeply moving, Ginny. I'm forwarding this to Don.

Joanne said...

I have never heard of this. It is a bit odd. I can't imagine crying into a bottle. I love The Psalm what a comforting reminder that God is always there and knows our every hurt and pain. God is Good. Blessings, Joanne