THE BENSEL CROSS
Transcribed January 2022
MITCH SAYS ...
I carve crosses out of driftwood from the Falls of The Ohio. They start with driftwood and are carved with remembrance of the crucifixion. Then they become driftwood again. The driftwood represents love. It appears to flow with light and love when finished and I ask God to bless them.
Every cross has grooves and deformities which make it beautiful like He is beautiful by His destroyed, mangled, beaten, and torn flesh. We beat Him causing the blood to leave. It tore his flesh, but because of that, he saved us.
The beauty of that touch on the cross is that Jesus saved all of us. So while you look upon these crosses, notice that nature tried to change each and make it useless. So, I took these supposedly defeated and ugly pieces of damaged drift wood and began to make each one into what represents love and His sacrifice for us.
I take this piece of wood and cut into it. With each cut I see Him being whipped. With each cut I see pieces of His skin fall away. I start with a piece of driftwood, but it becomes a crucifix while cutting it. When finished it becomes a brilliantly beautiful example of God’s love for us and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, to save our souls. So, it starts as driftwood where time and nature tried to destroy the wood with wearing away at it, disfiguring it.
I take it home, clean it by letting it soak in water and bleach and carve God’s sacrifice into it and through it. Finishing up, it returns to just beautiful driftwood in the shape of a cross which represents love.
The reason I like using driftwood to make crosses is because time and nature and water and air have altered the wood. I add more grooves and cuts which represent the lashings Jesus received. Nature altered the drift wood like man altered Jesus. They tore into him by lashing him, beating him, and nailing him to the wood.
When you look upon it you don’t feel sad, you feel euphoric. You feel His love and you see His beauty, His strength and what He gave us, salvation.
When these crosses are sold, I ask God to bless what that home needs. I am shown different walls the cross will be on. I see different things happening, sorrow, anger or needing protection.The blessings stay with the cross The crosses will find where they are supposed to be. God knows where he wants them.
It’s all about respect. I’m not just cutting up a piece of wood. I am at His crucifixion. I feel His love for us. With each cut and alteration of the drift wood I am a witness to His sacrifice. The powerful feeling of His presence is beautifully magnified with His gift to me to feel His love and to create a cross reminding us whenever we glance upon it of His love. They are not made in mass quantity. They are made with love and respect individually touched and carved onto altered and aged wood from the river.
Many years ago a friend of mine had a dream and told me I was supposed to make crosses. I didn’t know how to work with wood. But I did my best and they are all unique and belong to certain people. God knows where He wants them. They are still just a piece of driftwood, but they represent the ultimate expression of love.
Time and nature are natural. That’s why I’m so cool, time has hit me. Making a joke here hope it made ya smile. : )
There will be crosses and other things for sale on this site in the near future.
New crosses are avialable on my ETSY account. Write to me, DM me, or Text me I will make one for you. Etsy: Mitch Bensel Treasures