Continuing on our recent 13th anniversary, here’s another story from the church – based on a sight from Bangsar Lutheran Church that many have seen, but may not have heard the story behind it.

The banner that adorns the wall to the right side of the altar (as you face the cross) was the loving handiwork of Joyce Ramanathan.

Here’s the story behind it:

When Rubini showed me the picture of the banner and asked whether I could reproduce it using scraps of material contributed by the church family, I was quite concerned.

It looked like an interesting project, but to use a variety of fabrics of different textures, weave, elasticity and weight would be a nightmare.  As I lay awake wondering about it, I started to talk to God about it and a clear answer came:  “Use ribbons.”

The next day I went to the haberdashery and got a few metres each of ribbons of different colours.  I tried sewing the ribbons together and it was difficult: the ends frayed and the satin ribbons kept slipping!

This was going to be a difficult project.  Rama worked out the dimensions of the banner for me and I was horrified: it was so big!

My sample wasn’t received enthusiastically and I was quite disappointed.  But someone in our church had an appropriate word for me and I was encouraged.

I was in the midst of sewing a quilt for my niece and I had to finish it before I could begin on the banner.  I finished the quilt for my niece on 8 February 2012, and then started on the banner to get it done by Good Friday.

To stop the ribbons from fraying I singed the edges.  I was working in our study and had to be very careful of the combination of a lit candle, ribbons, fabrics and books.  The progress was slow but Rama was very encouraging.

Working with ribbons was already difficult and I wondered how I was going to sew the thorns.  I decided to use felt as it does not fray, and fabric glue to attach it.  But to play it safe, I hemmed it as well.

Initially, I wanted to make and pay for the banner myself as my gift to God.

I’m very glad I didn’t do that.  The banner is not mine; it belongs to all of us.  The ribbons of different colours, lengths and even texture portray the people that make up BLC. There maybe some similarities between us but we are also different and unique, no one more significant than another.  Together, we make a pretty picture.

When attaching the thorns, I could not stop thinking of the pain our Lord had to suffer to redeem us.  Pain is necessary in our lives.  Pain makes us dependent on God, makes us less able to take things for granted, makes us more compassionate towards others.  Pain builds character.

I am grateful to Rubini and Bess Anne for choosing the design and giving me the privilege of making it.

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