Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


El Salvador, Cross - VM - Saskia Ossewaarde

Cross from El Salvador


by Saskia Ossewaarde

Innumerable times the earth in El Salvador trembles. Streets burst open, houses collapse, poles and girders break like matches and stones scatter to pieces. These earthquakes often take human lives. Afterwards everything needs to be rebuilt. Until the next one....

But the population - the Salvadorenhas - does not lose hope! In the debris they search for wood that can still be used. They use the larger chunks to build their next house and the little pieces to make large or small crosses. The crosses are painted in the most abundant and vivid colours. 'We will not resign ourselves to disasters,' the Salvadorenhas say. 'We believe in life; it is stronger than death. We will rise again and again!'

This cross shows the vision: creation the way God has meant it to be. There is room for plants, animals and people. Against a green background everything blossoms and grows. Brilliant are the birds, messengers between heaven and earth. At the center we see people of different colours, man and woman. Where they live together in harmony, the Tree of Life sprouts in their midst. In this creation there is a beautiful house for each one of us, a roof over everyone’s head, and no more earthquakes.

The sun shines and warms all that lives – not too bright, but rather with soft, warm tones.


Cross from El Salvador, acrylic on wood, 24 x 40 cm.

Saskia Ossewaarde taught at the Lutheran School of Theology of Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, from 1986-1996. She was co-founder of the socio-cultural training institute for members of the Lutheran Church in Brazil. Since 2005 she is pastor of the Reformed Church in Egmond, The Netherlands. She translates Brazilian poetry, hymns and prayers.

ArtWay Visual Meditation April 24 2016