Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tears in a Bottle

In the small village of Menands, New York, there is a little rural cemetery. In the middle of the cemetery there stands a monument to Sara Weed. The monument depicts Sara cradling a bottle to her face. In the early 1900's, a newspaper ran a story about poor Sara, saying that the bottle was a bottle of booze and that the monument showed that she was a slave to alcohol. The article went on to say that the monument's inscription which read "Sara and her babe" referred to the bottle as her "babe" and that the monument was put up by her husband, William, as a warning to everyone to stay away from the demon rum that killed poor Sara.
But actually the truth about this monument is much more poignant and will serve to illustrate a tender lesson. You see, the inscription refers to Sara, wife of William Weed, who along with her unborn child, died in childbirth at the age of 27. The bottle she is holding is a tear bottle, which she is crying into and collecting her tears.
It is difficult to say exactly when the first tear bottles came into being. They were fairly common in Roman times, around the time of Christ, when mourners filled small glass bottles with tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of respect. Tear bottles reappeared during the Victorian period of the 19th century, when those mourning the loss of loved ones would collect their tears in bottles with special stoppers that allowed the tears to evaporate. When all the tears had evaporated, the mourning period would end. In some American Civil War stories, women were said to have cried into tear bottles and saved them until their husbands returned from battle. Their collected tears would show the men how much they were adored and missed.
Did you know that the Bible speaks about how God collects our tears in His bottle? (Psalm 56:8) What a comforting thought that we have a loving, caring, wonderful God who hears us when we cry and collects each of our tears as something very precious to Him. This God of the universe - who looks over millions and millions of his creatures - yet He hears each and everyone of our tears.


  1. I needed to hear this today .. we serve an awesome God


  2. Thanks Frank, your encouragement means so much to me.

  3. Thanks Thomas! So glad you visited.