The fleecy lamb-shaped cream was beginning to take shape on the rich black velvet. Ruth worked meticulously at her sewing machine to carefully piece the fabrics together.
Her hand had been the first one up at practice when the choir director suggested a banner to display on the wall for their Easter Cantata, "Behold the Lamb". Ruth was soon pouring through books until she found the perfect lamb for a stencil and then located the fabrics for the lamb, background, and caption that would read, "BEHOLD THE LAMB".
The lamb's body now appliqued to the background fabric, Ruth focused on the banner letters she had just cut out. Pinning them to the banner, she set her machine on zigzag stitch, and carefully sewed each one in place. Stretching out the banner fully, she thanked the Lord for the precise placement of each letter. She had prayed throughout this project, as she always did, and the Lord was faithfully blessing every step.
Only one more detail after she finished hemming and sewing the loops that would hold the banner on the pole. The features. It was the face that had drawn her to this stencil and she now wondered how she could transfer what she saw in that stencil to the felt material before her and cut and sew it to reflect an oh, so special Lamb.
Her first attempt looked garish. Out flew those stitches! She cut out and sewed again. No, those eyes gave the lamb a glazed, lost look; not at all what she desired.
As she ripped out those stitches, Ruth mused to herself, "Could not the Master with His precise handiwork do what she could not of her own hands do?"
She stopped and softly whispered a prayer: "Not my eyes nor hands but Yours, Oh Lord, to guide me."
She carefully cut and placed the new pieces on the fabric. She looked from the stencil and back to the fabric. Everything looked perfect, but would they after being stitched? Asking the Holy Spirit to guide her, she pressed the foot pedal....
Ruth and the rest of the choir waited expectantly as they sang the final cantata song, "Behold the Lamb". All stood ready, on the song's last word, to simultaneously turn their heads up toward the banner that now hung on the sanctuary wall. And, precisely, as they had practiced, on the word, "Lamb", every head turned in unison.
As Ruth turned, her eyes, fixed on the lamb's, suddenly overflowed with tears as she sensed the amazing love in those "knowing eyes" He had guided her by His own precious hand to sew. She understood that perfect love that had been poured out for her as "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter [yet] ... opened not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7 NKJV).
Ruth's thoughts flooded back to the depression He had healed her from after she prayed from that tiny smiley-faced gospel tract and asked Him to take over her life. Shortly afterwards, she found this wonderful Bible-believing church filled with people who genuinely loved her, and discovered the desire to sew again.
So she had pulled out her sewing machine and began to use the talents He had given her for His glory: Biblical costumes; Jesus' soft robe made of fine linen with gold embellishments; church window cornices; the beautiful dedication gown for her Goddaughter, and now the lamb banner.
Ruth remembered the sorrowful little girl who for many years had wondered if the piercing pain in her heart could ever be healed until that day she experienced the sacrificial love of One who had chosen to be pierced for her. And, how, because of His stripes, she was healed; for it was no longer a pierced heart, but a healed heart within her--lovingly stitched together with scarlet threads of His precious blood.
As the sanctuary erupted in applause, Ruth's heart erupted in love. This was her precious Lamb of God, Jesus, who had suffered, died, and rose again, to meticulously and lovingly piece together the fabric of her own life. Through Him, she would have abundant, everlasting life.
"Yes, Behold the Lamb," she marveled.
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV).
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