Your Tears Matter

Tear Bottle

“You Yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your records?” (Psalm 56:8)

David cried out to God in Psalm 56 when the Philistines seized him in Gath. Women collected their tears in bottles when their husbands were away at war. Although their tears showed how they grieved, they must have celebrated when the man of their house returned.

It is believed that the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50 had two bottles–an alabaster jar of fragrant oil and a lachrymatory or tear bottle. When she found out a Pharisee had invited Jesus to dinner, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume and stood behind Jesus at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. I believe she also poured out the tears from her lachrymatory. What sorrow must have filled her life?

The Pharisee who invited Jesus said to himself, “This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching Him–she’s a sinner!” Aware of his thoughts, Jesus said, “Simon, I have something to say to you,” and the Pharisee said, “Say it.”

“A creditor had two debtors. One owed him 500 denarii and one 50. Since they could not repay him, he forgave both of them. Which one will love him more?” Simon said, “I suppose the one he forgave more.” Jesus said, you have judged correctly.” Turning to the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she, washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. So I tell you, her sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much.” Then Jesus said to the woman “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:36-48).


The Jewish custom of hospitality was to wash their guests feet, give them a holy kiss and anoint them with oil. The Pharisee failed on all of these. Yet the woman offered her worship to Jesus–expensive perfume and her tears. Women didn’t go outside without their hair bound. Her hair was her glory and only for her husband to see. Yet this woman unbound her hair to dry Jesus’ feet. She humbled herself to stand behind Jesus, but she boldly worshiped Him in front of Simon’s guests. Jesus lifted her to a place of honor when he forgave her sins.


Thank you, Lord, for examples of your mercy. Thank you for demonstrating in this story that our tears matter. When we experience loneliness, despair or anxiety, help us to know that you care. Help us to come to you to experience your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.