Ramadan Day 28- Love
On the second floor of the Abgineh Glass and Ceramics Museum in Tehran Iran, in a small, unremarkable cabinet resides a collection of oddly-shaped bottles labeled only as ‘sprinklers.’ In ancient Middle East, these bottles were known as ‘tear-catchers’; vessels used to capture tears shed by a wife whose husband was at war and, offered as proof of her love, upon his safe return. In times of death or serious trouble, family members gathered tears from all present, the bottles representing the sorrows of the family, the tears serving as a message in a bottle. Ages ago, King David was convinced that even God was interested in his tears. In Psalm 56 he writes, “Put my tears in your bottle ‘ aren’t they already recorded in your book?” David knew that God saw every tear rolling down his cheeks, and in spite of suffering and persecution, David chose to put his trust in the Lord, “In God I trust; I have no fear.” David was confident that his tears were not shed in vain, but were collected by God. The words in Psalm 56 could also be those of our Iranian brothers and sisters; they serve as a reminder for us to ‘treasure’ their tears.
Recently, Open Doors received an Iranian ‘tear-catcher’ as a present; the bottle, an emblem of not only the tears of Iranian Christians, but also the pain of persecuted Christians around the world. The tiny vessel speaks of grief, tears, and suffering, but also faith and confidence in the Lord. On this day, let us remember the tears of the persecuted, reminded that when one suffers, all suffer. Our prayers an offering of love for those who have sacrificed so much to follow Christ. STAND “ONE WITH THEM” Take a small bottle, and fill it with perfume, aromatic oils, or other fragrant fluids as a reminder of the tears of Christians that are being persecuted. Lift up the sweet aroma as you sacrificially pray for brothers and sisters worldwide. PRAY “ONE WITH THEM” Father, just as the tears in a bottle speak about grief and suffering, they also speak about faith and confidence in You. Today, we remember their tears, knowing that as one member suffers, all members suffer. Amen.