Saturday, tomorrow Steven Curtis Chapman will bury his 5 year old daughter. Steven Curtis Chapman is a very well known Christian singer, song writer and producer. He has 5 Grammy awards, 54 Dove awards, 10 million albums sold and 44 number ones. He has been a huge influence and mentor on almost every christian/gospel singer/group in the last several decades. He is the father of 6 children, three of his own and 3 adopted children. He and his family have dedicated their lives to spreading the word of God though music. The family was preparing to celebrate a daughters new engagement and a sons high school graduation when this tragedy took place.
Maria was the youngest child of the six. What makes this story truly horrific is Mr Chapmans 17(ish) yr old son is the one who killed her. He was pulling in the driveway and did not see her. As if the story was not tragic enough the accident was witnessed by Maria's 8 year old sister. This tragedy will affect each member of this family in so many ways, remorse for the loss, guilt for causing the accident and regret for not doing more, not paying closer attention.
This is a time when people who have little faith or no faith at all say."Why would your God do this"? If God is good why do bad things happen to good people, good people that appear to worship him and live by his word? This is a time that will shake a great family of faith to the core.
A faith walk is a day to day choice and never is not tested. I learned this in a very surreal way. About 2 years ago my brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, this cancer could have responded to treatment, maybe, but Bobby opted out and chose to let the disease run its course to the end. As his time with us was coming to an end my husband and I found ourselves making the funeral arrangements. My sister-in-law was overwhelmed with choices and decisions. She had been attending a church for a year and knew she wanted the Head pastor to do the memorial service.
We met with him one afternoon and found him also a great man of God. He had been at this church as Lead Pastor for over 20 years. His words were comforting and smooth. I have always thought if you had a strong enough faith to go into ministry you never doubted the ever popular question, Is God Real? As we finalized the details of Bobby's upcoming memorial we discussed the date. The date was tough due to Bobby had not passed away and the Pastor had a scheduled trip to visit his daughter. She was in her early twenties and she was out of state. At first I thought this service was more important and maybe he could postpone his visit for a few days if need be. Then I found out she to was battling cancer and was hospitalized out of state for treatment. With this revelation I said how difficult this must be(planning a funeral for a man who has a version of what your daughter has). I said how wonderful it must be to have the faith he has in times like this. Just knowing God is there for you and will carry you. With this he respond, he often questioned his faith and his God. To hear he had doubts awakened me to what real faith is and is not. It is a choice and daily must be fed and practiced, and when all else fails you have to blindly trust in your beliefs.
This is a time for the Chapman family although they have spent a majority of their life in the spotlight now will be the most openly public days they have ever had. These days to come will say more to the public then all his music over the years combine. It will be a time when they will not speak there faith but have to show it in the darkest days for this family. His web site has a message on it from his manager in which reflects the sentiments of the family. It simply states we do not know the plan of our God and we will still give God praise for we know we will reunite with Maria again.
Faith does not shield you from the reality of the mortal world, but it does give you hope to continue on in your darkest hour. The promise of a better future and life beyond this world we live in.
My prayers go out to the Chapman family!