Title: His Banner
Medium: photograph, digital drawing and pastels
Artist: Erin Melenbacker
If you’ve ever attended a conference, birthday party, convention, or celebration, you’ve probably become familiar with banners… the signs with giant lettering hung across the showroom entryway or above the fireplace at a welcome home party.
In the early years of owning our photography business we attended various bridal shows. Often placed at the event’s entrance was a welcome sign or banner. One of the first things noticed upon your arrival, it’s warm greeting was a beacon to all of what awaited beyond it’s posting. Once inside, you were introduced to an overwhelming amount of signage: each company displaying it’s own banner or sign, hoping to capture your attention. Those that invested extra dollars received prime placement for their booth and banners. The bigger your banner and the better your placement (usually near the main entryway), the more likely brides would stop and visit you. Or at least that was the thought behind it.
While there’s many reasons a person or company chooses to invest in a banner, their purpose is the same…. they have a message, a message they feel is important, so important, that they want it to be the first impression you have upon your arrival. At times, a banner is hung for one special person, “Welcome Home”, “Happy Birthday” “Congratulations”… and when a banner is meant for you and only you, it’s hard to miss. It proudly displays the message the event organizer, many times a loved one or close family member, wants to share with you. Not only does this banner hold a meaningful message for you, it’s also a public statement to all who view it.
“…His banner over me was love” from Song of Solomon 2:5, describes God’s love as a banner placed over us. Thinking about this, I imagine God’s banner as having a similar purpose to other banners I’m familiar with. I cannot imagine it as being small or timidly displayed, but rather hung proudly for all to see. It tells me that God’s love is the first thing He sees when He looks at me, it’s the greatest message He could ever share with me and represents a truth of what awaits me beyond it’s posting.
In this piece the three figures above the city are representations of the trinity and God’s love. Although not easily visible in this online image, etched into the sky are hundreds of names symbolic of God’s people as he knows us by name.
This work is created after and inspired by the following verses in the bible:
“…His banner over me was love” – Song of Solomon 2:5
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39
“…The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” – Psalms 139:1-6