Ever since Wednesday night, when I heard the news about the daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman...I can't get their family off my mind.
I don't have a personal connection to any of them. I heard Steven first sing in a library in Arkansas in 1987 just after his first album was released. And his first wedding song, I Will Be Here, came out just before Faith and I got married, so it was the love song we featured at our wedding. But other than that, I really haven't listened to his music or followed his story since then (although my wife and girls are avid followers).
Maybe it is because of the age of my kids and having a new teenage driver at home, but they have been in my prayers and on my mind non-stop. I can't imagine the horror they have experienced since Wednesday when their 5-year old daughter was run over and killed in their own driveway. So many questions go through my mind...
- Why would God allow this to happen? (I know that God didn't cause it, but I also know He could have stopped it.)
- How is the teenage son (who was driving the SUV) ever going to recover?
- How do Steven Curtis and Mary Beth ever make sense of this tragedy? How do they lead their family with strength while going through their own pain?
- What do they say to the well-intentioned but stupid Christians who will approach them and say, "Well, at least she's in a better place now"?
- A week ago they were planning their sons graduation party looking to a bright future. Now, the future is missing a little girl who was just having fun playing outside--how is that fair?
The final session at WhiteBoard last week was delivered by Ed Stetzer. I've never heard him speak before, but I was mesmerized by his talk. Because the death of Maria Chapman was on my mind, his words were especially important...
- Don't be afraid to say to God, "I don't get it...I don't understand."
- God is not scared of your questions. He doesn't get mad at you for doubting Him.
- At the end of the day, I have to press through my doubt in order to get to faith. You can't get to faith without doubt.
I don't know how I'd respond or what I would do. I can only hope I'd have people surrounding me, as the Chapmans do, to walk through it with me.
If you want to get to know Maria, watch this video.