Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman tragedy beyond words

It's an awful story .. no matter what family it affects. A couple's teen son accidentally runs over and kills his 5-year-old sister in the family driveway. That's what happened to Contemporary Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, at the family home in Tennessee.

SCC is far and away my favorite performer ... his songs of faith and hope helped me tremendously during my tour of duty overseas .. and have always been the right inspiration for me at the right time. If you click on the cassette tape to the right, you'll hear some of his songs that I linked to my blog last week.

The Chapmans have three children of their own and adopted three more from China. Maria, the youngest of the adopted children, was the one killed.

As a couple, Steven and Marybeth have been national advocates for adoption and they also have a foundation that provides financial support to couples looking to adopt. It was a big part of his concert in Akron last fall.

News reports indicate the family was playing outside when the accident happened, and at least two of the Chapmans' other children witnessed it. No charges are expected as police believe it was an unforeseeable accident.

I can't imagine the agony the family must be feeling at the loss, but I equally can't find the words to describe what SCC's teen son must be feeling as well. Their entire family has been changed forever.

I've covered similar stories for the evening news, and I'm quick to realize that the pain the family endures in the initial few days of the tragedy is only the beginning. Long after the TV cameras move on to other stories, this family will still be grieving. Now it's happened to a family we all know.

SCC's two teen sons played with him during his concert last fall at the Akron Baptist Temple. Both are phenomenal musicians, like their father. Hopefully, the boys can lean on that close relationship with their father for support.

On his most recent CD, SCC shares a powerful message about fathers and daughters in his song "Cinderella" which laments a daddy's joys and pains in watching his little girl grow to womanhood. Knowing how much SCC loves his daughters, I can't imagine how he'll ever play that song again and not be in tears. My own son has made "Cinderella" one of his favorite songs and has already said that if he has a daughter someday, he'll play it at her wedding. If you're a fan of Christian music then you've probably heard it on the radio by now.

One of SCC's most emotional songs, "When Love Takes You In," was written about the adoption experience. It's very powerful and indicative of the passionate lyrics and message true of SCC's music in general. I know that the little girl in the video is one of the daughters he adopted, but I don't know if it's Maria.

I invite you to watch the video below and let the song sink in ... and when it's over say a prayer for this Christian family that they find peace and healing in the coming days.

No comments: