Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Tragedy in Steven Curtis Chapman's Family

I was heartbroken this morning to learn of the tragic death yesterday of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman's five-year-old daughter, Maria. It appears that while playing in the driveway at the family's home outside of Nashville, Maria was hit by a vehicle being driven by one of her older brothers. You can read more details about what happened here.

Any time a family loses a child it is devastating, but the circumstances surrounding this loss make things particularly hard. The pain that the whole family must be going through right now must be unbearable. Maria was one of three children that Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, had adopted from China in recent years and she was the youngest child of the six Chapman family.

Though I've never met the Chapmans, I do feel a certain kinship towards them. Steven Curtis is far and away my favorite singer and has had more of an influence on my life than any other musician. His music played a pivotal part in my early development as a Christian as his messages on "For the Sake of the Call," "The Great Adventure" and "More to This Life" helped me in understanding what it meant to follow Christ. In fact, it was his CD "Speechless" playing on the stereo when my first child, Brennan, entered the world.

In addition to his popularity for Steven's music, he and Mary Beth have been tireless advocates for adoption in their personal lives and with the establishment of the Shaohannah's Hope foundation. Please join me in praying for the Chapman family during this very rough and difficult time. After hearing of this news, I couldn't help but think of a song that Steven had written several years ago in the midst of grieving the loss of a child of dear friends...
This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...
We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again
And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...
We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

UPDATE: I received this message earlier today...

"Last night Maria Sue Chapman, adopted and youngest daughter of Mary Beth & Steven Curtis Chapman, was killed in a tragic accident in the family driveway. She was LifeFlighted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital but for only reasons God can explain she went home to Him... not back to Franklin as we all so desperately wanted.

We are all humbled by the incredible outpouring of love and support at this difficult time. I have watched you, the Chapman friends, overwhelm website servers and jam phone lines with your gracious words and heartfelt prayers. The Chapman family is so grateful. Obviously, we cherish your prayers for all in the Chapman family, and we welcome you passing this along to others to pray and encouraging them to sign up for Steven's e-mail list to receive continuing updates.

  • If you'd like to express your condolences and get a glimpse of this beautiful little girl through a short video clip, click here.
  • Mail to PO Box 150156 Nashville, TN 37215.
  • In lieu of flowers, the Chapmans request any gifts be directed to Shaohannah's Hope, click here.
In closing, as many of you know, the song "Cinderella" was written by Steven to help him (and us all) grab a hold of the special moments with those we love we might otherwise rush by. It was inspired by a bath time that Steven tried to "hurry," Maria and her sister Stevey Joy were not exactly cooperating. : ) Let us all be reminded again today what Steven compels us to with the lyric of this special song.

Maria, we already miss you so much, and we only take comfort in The Hope that assures us we'll see you again soon."
On behalf of the Chapman team and family, Jim Houser (Manager)

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Crock said...

so so sad.

But, I keep wondering how many people that would've never listened to his music - might discover it now, and how many lives will be changed.

scottmcrocker said...

I've been surprised by the amount of mainstream media coverage this has gotten. I'm assuming that he is hardly known at all beyond Christian circles, but this is something that people can sympathize with. I hope this does provide a greater platform for Steven's music an adoption advocacy.