For those of you who haven’t heard the news, Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest daughter Maria Sue was killed yesterday. She was hit in the family’s driveway by an SUV driven by her brother.
Maria was the youngest of six children. (Steven and his wife Mary Beth have three biological children and three they adopted from China. Maria Sue was adopted.)
On a special “In Memory of Maria” page on Steven’s personal blog, his manager, Jim Houser, writes, “Your prayers are needed for all in the Chapman family. This is a family who has so generously loved and given to so many. Just hours before this close knit family was celebrating the engagement of the oldest daughter Emily Chapman, and were just hours away from a graduation party marking Caleb Chapman’s completion of high school. Now, they are preparing to bury a child who blew out 5 candles on a birthday cake less than 10 days ago. These words are unthinkable to type.”
Steven Curtis Chapman has been a huge influence on me as a musician and worship leader. His music has helped me through some of the most difficult periods of my life. I know that I don’t really know him, but he feels like an old friend.
My heart breaks for him and his family. Having a young daughter myself, I can only imagine the shock, the pain that you just can’t push away. The deep sorrow. As a father, the one thing I refuse to EVER think about is my daughter’s death. But in my darker moments, the thought does seep in, and it’s more frightening than I can explain.
Some friends of mine recently lost their teenage daughter – a young lady who had briefly been a part of my youth ministry in Florida. I saw all of this in their faces, their tears.
I think it’s safe to say that Steven, Mary Beth, and their children are living in a nightmare world right now.
I cannot even begin to imagine what their son is going through. How do you learn to live with something like that? How do you learn to forgive yourself?
My hope and prayer for this family is that they love each other through this, that they can forgive and somehow find God’s blessing in these appalling circumstances.
If you would like to express your condolences to the family, you can do so here. (Click on the comments link.)