Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marxhausen Chapel Message

Hello blog readers! Tomorrow, I leave for France, and will return May 22. You'll have to wait til then for new posts, so today I'm just going to let you know what I've been working on recently. I've been scanning a few books created by Reinhold. These books were entrusted to me by Karl Marxhausen.

So far, I have completely scanned two books, one of which is titled A Time to See and contains photos he showed and discussed in the film of the same name. It also includes many more photos not shown in the film, and tells the stories of the interesting things he saw and how he found them. I'll be sharing my favorite highlights from his many sketches and notes here shortly after I return, so check back later this month!

For today, I'd like to share this text of a school chapel Reinhold wrote. Pastor Bruick of St. John Lutheran Church in Seward shared this story at the memorial service for Reinhold. When Reinhold originally delivered this message, the pine coffin he built was sitting on stage.

My Capsule Just Fits

Reinhold Pieper Marxhausen, 1981—St. John Lutheran Church—School Chapel

“I used to be afraid of death
As anyone else.
Even though we know that Christ has conquered death.

My hair used to be black. I’m changing. I’m dying.

This is my casket. I paid $130.00 for it.
When it came to my house in a cardboard box as a kit,
I put it in the garage.
I did not open it for a long time because I was afraid.

Last summer I glued the pieces together.
It sits in my studio.
I see it whenever I work.
I stand in it most every day.
I am no longer afraid.

I think about death often.
When I open my eyes in the morning,
I’m surprised and happy.
Another day for me.
A gift unexpected.
But this day may be my last.

I know you are young,
full of life ahead to look forward to.
This is important.
I’m 59.
Some of you will die before me.

Farmers don’t throw their seeds away.
They plant them.
Old and shriveled people and seeds become new after death.
Like these beautiful flowers.

This box is a symbol.
A new space capsule for my meeting with God.
A great new adventure lies before me.
This box reminds me every day of God’s grace and love.

May it be for you also.”