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His Banner Over Me is Love

In the spring of 1990 I began making banners. Inspired for the previous seven years by Jean Cross' banners at Bible Fellowship Church, where I attended a Bible study and also worked as a trainee/intern for their counseling center, I designed and created my first banner for Easter. It was the worship focus at the end of a long hallway as you entered the sanctuary. He is Risen was a surprise to all who entered and warmly appreciated even though I hadn't formally requested permission to put it up. It probably helped that my husband was the church's business administrator. That was the beginning of my banner ministry.

More importantly, banner-making became an intensely rich form of prayer for me. It was an act of praise and worship on my part, as well as a meaningful way in which God spoke to me. I came to think of the process as dialogic prayer.

Like the stained glass window at First Methodist that spoke to my mother when I was a child, God began to speak to me through images. Banner designs flooded my imagination and I often felt like my mind was the landing pattern at LAX where I had to get one banner off the "runway" of my work tables so I could "land" another idea. Every spare moment away from my counseling practice was spent banner-making.

Blaze, Spirit, Blaze, inspired by a favorite worship song, was displayed on Pentecost. Toni Baldwin, the guest preacher for that Sunday, preached from the Song of Solomon text "His banner over me is love." I wept with the gracious confirmation of my gift of worship. The Lord began to reveal Himself to me through our joint creations. I found His character both glorious and playful.

The worship song also inspired a simplified version of the design that accompanied a  short-term missionary team headed to Leningrad in the USSR. They spread fabric on their hotel room floor. Cutting and ironing the design in place, they presented it to a sister church where is resides today in St Petersburg, Russia. The day the team left for home, the collapse of the USSR was announced! Within a short period of time Leningrad resumed its name as St Petersburg.

Banners are not books, but lead to the Word.

Will I not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing until it overflows. Malachi 3:10