Years ago my mother-in-law had several small bottles made of carnival glass, pressed glass, brilliantly colored and shimmery. Carnival glass was popular at the beginning of the twentieth century and got its name from often being the prizes that could be won at carnivals.
Mom had them displayed in a few places, but I never thought much about them other than being colorful in their own unique way.
When Mom died, everything got split up between her four children. At the time, I had six of my own at home; the idea of bringing in a breakable piece of anything into the house was more than I could imagine. I’d already had several knick-knacks gifted to me that were shattered by errant soccer balls.
So many bottles, glasses, and other useful home items are now made more resilient using either plastic or acrylic. Sturdy, yes. Not so pretty to look at.
Often the bottle isn’t the focus as much as what it contains. My friend, Sheila, who lives in Italy, recently wrote about traditional-aged Balsamic vinegar from Modena. The really good stuff is aged at least twenty-five years, with some extra-aged for fifty years. It’s so valuable it’s sold in tiny bottles, only 3.4 ounces, for over $500. The bottle, after all, is only the container. The value is in the aged vinegar.
Culturally we too often struggle with what we value. The container or what’s inside it? Landfills everywhere in our country remind us that we’re a throw-away culture. It’s used up or we don’t like it, just pitch it. If we value the container but not the contents, get rid of the inside and display the outside.
We’re drawn to appearance. We often jump to conclusions about something–or someone–because of the image portrayed.
I received a bottle of perfume as a present one Christmas. The bottle was beautiful, but the scent of the perfume–on me–was horrid. I knew it had cost the giver a pretty penny, but I couldn’t wear it–unless I was trying to distance people from myself. So I kept the bottle on my dresser. It looked elegant–even though the contents were so offensive.
it’s all about value.
Do you ever stop and consider what God thinks is valuable?
Us. People. He values us so much that He cares about the things we care about. Our troubles, pains, sadness are things of importance to Him. So much so that He collects our tears.
“You keep track of ALL my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.” Psalm 56:8
The things that hurt or bother us, the things that cause us deep sorrow and grief get a response from God. He values all we feel, so much that He chooses to collect our tears in unique bottles, distinctive to each one of us. He knows everything we go through.
We matter that much to Him.
It doesn’t matter what our “bottles” look like. Who we are, what we go through, how we feel matter to the One who made each of us in His own image.
Our tears are worthy of His love.
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