Friday, May 23, 2008

Maria Chapman

Today I'm thankful I'm a Christian. I wouldn't normally say it that way. As if I had picked from the various religions like I choose a drink at a restaurant. But that's kind of how I feel. There are several out there after all, and today I'm glad for mine. I heard yesterday the tragic news that Stephen Curtis Chapman's youngest daughter was killed in an accident in his very own driveway with family members watching. I almost couldn't bear the news and couldn't imagine how they were bearing it. I went online immediately to snatch at any news of it and hopefully to see how the Chapmans were doing. I knew they would be broken and horrified and clinging to each other. But I wanted to see or hear from them in any small way. I needed to see that faint but resolute glimpse of hope that Christians often reveal in times of crisis. It seems so obvious to despair, to lose faith, to curse it even, when something so unspeakable happens. I wanted to see the proof that they had not chosen the obvious.

Well, I found it of course. There was already a fund set up in their daughter's name to help orphans around the world. There was a blog written by their manager and assuring everyone that the family still believed. The simple fact that they had created a place for me to grieve and to relieve at least a little my sense of helplessness - it was the glimpse I needed to see.

Felicity wrote a beautiful post about the tragedy. She said our faith does not always provide answers but that it always gives comfort. The hope of eternity. I don't know of any religion that has a prettier version than ours. Not only do we believe that we go on, but that we get to meet and be with our God, our loved ones, and all people of faith who have ever and will ever live. Not only do we go on, but we do it in a place with no more tears or sadness, nor more sickness or pain. Perhaps there are better versions out there, but I don't know of them.

I wrote several posts ago about a minister and author who believes in God but not eternity. She said she did not want to live forever, because she was tired of herself. I get that. I'm tired of myself too. I bet sometimes Stephen Curtis Chapman is tired of himself - all the quirks and sins and struggles none of us see. But I know today he is glad that he believes.

Because I know he was not tired of her.


Molly said...

I had never heard the song Steven wrote after Columbine called "with Hope" until the day Maria died. The lyrics say it all:

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 ...

Anonymous said...

Seren... I'm sorry to do this in such a ridiculous way... on your blog... but, Mauricio asked me to marry him tonight!! It was the happiest moment of my life :) Next time I see you I'll tell you all about it.


Kathy said...

Heather- I think you just displayed what is most wonderful about Christianity. Glorious life goes on in the midst of tragedy, and we can embrace it all. I am praying for the Chapman family and celebrating for the future Mr. & Mrs. Mauricio Toro!

Anonymous said...

I have always loved Steven's music and I so sad for their loss. He has so many great songs. Right now I think of the lyrics of an old one:

His strength is perfect
When our strength is gone
He carries us when we can't carry on...

I'm glad he believes.

Pam S.

On a happier note: Congrats to Heather!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I meant to type "I am so sad"