MITCH SAYS ... THE BENSEL CROSS EXPLANATION
As told to Irene Baron January 2022
Mitch Bensel creates his Bensel Crosses using driftwood found along the banks of the Ohio River. Every cross is different as the woods are tossed by the waters to erode and change in color and shape from wherever they originate. When the cross is purchased, prayers of peace and perhaps protection and or healing are said over the cross. Mitch then asks God to bless each cross before they are shipped to the buyer. Those who receive their cross can often feel the energy imbedded in the cross and find their home is more peaceful. After purchasing the first cross and experiencing the energy of the cross, many persons buy some for family members and friends. Each one is unique and beautiful. They are available for purchase on Etsy at Mitch Bensel Treasures.
MITCH SAYS ...
I carve crosses out of driftwood from the Falls of The Ohio. The crosses, every one I make, represents Jesus’ love for us. 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 God blesses 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, 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. 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 made with love and respect. 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.
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. I know each one will find the home it belongs in. I should say 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 are a couple of crosses available on my ETSY account.
Write to me or DM me or Text me I will make one for you.
NOTE BY IRENE BARON: When Mitch Bensel says the crosses will find where they are supposed to be, he is correct. For example, during the construction of one commissioned cross, he mentioned that something didn't feel right. After the prayer was said over it, the feeling was still there.
When the cross was delivered in the mail to the person who commissioned it, she took it to work. As she was unwrapping the cross, there was a lady standing next to it who was in cancer remission and a new Christian. When the cross was visible, the ill lady was adamant that she had to have that cross. She picked it up and held it close, repeating that she wanted to buy it, hold it, and take it home. After such exclamations, the owner gave it to her. When Mitch was told what happened, he said, "The crosses always find their home." He knew then why the feeling for that cross felt incorrect. It was headed for the wrong person and not meant for the person who commissioned it,
The lady who originally commissioned that cross ordered more as gifts. One of her neighbors ordered a cross from Etsy. After it was held, she ordered another.
I can feel the energy given off mine and love it as my favorite piece of art. Thank you Mitch for the unique crosses you create.
How to buy a Bensel Cross : https://www.etsy.com/shop/MitchBenselTreasures