This morning I saw an interview with the Steven Curtis Chapman Family on Good Morning America. For those of you who don't know, he is a wonderfully talented Christian artist, who has been around for years. He and his wife had a daughter and 2 sons and then adopted 3 daughters from China.
Recently his family suffered a living nightmare. Back in May, their youngest daughter, Maria Sue, was accidentally hit by a car at their home. She died. One of their sons, Will Franklin, was the driver of the car. As he was pulling in, his little sister was excitedly running to see him, and the accident happened.
When I first heard this, I was so heartbroken for them. There are so many terrible things about this situation. My heart ached and tears flowed for all the terribleness. Today as I watched their interview, my heart broke all over again, but I was also filled with awe and hope at the mercy of Christ. They are a family suffering. They are a family grieving. They are a family remaining hopeful and full of faith. They are a family who have opened themselves up to the Grace of God.
I'd like to share with you a few of the life building moments from this interview.
The first moment was when the interviewer asked him what he said to his son after the accident. (He only remembers this because his older boy recounted it to him.) As Chapman was about to drive off with his broken daughter in his arms, he rolled down the window and told his son, "Will Franklin, your father loves you." Chapman said he had enough wits about him to know that he was going to lose one child, and there was a chance he could lose two. He, in his fear, shock, terror, and agony opened his heart up to the Grace of God and told the driver of the car that killed his baby, I love you. Both of his children needed him at that very moment. Both were dying. One was on her way to meet her Savior in Paradise, one could have spent a life in torment, were it not for the unconditional love that was shown by his father.
The second was by Maria's mother, Mary Beth. She said that there have been times when she bitterly said that she doesn't care if she is helping other people with her story. This mother just wants her Maria Sue back. But...she knows that her 5 other children need her and so she goes on. Her oldest daughter is about to get married and needs her mom. Her "baby boy", 17 year old Will Franklin, needs her to help him carry this burden. She also has no doubt that she will see her blessed baby girl again. She has no doubt that she will smell her sweet head again and hold her tight. Faith is believing in things unseen. Her worst fear has come to pass, and she chooses to cooperate with the Grace offered to her, and she keeps going and tending to those entrusted to her care.
Finally, the 3 oldest siblings were interviewed together. Will Franklin said that after it happened, he just started running as fast as he could. He said that his older brother ran after him and tackled him and held him. His younger sister caught up with him and held on too. His older brother said that he wishes he could take away the suffering his younger brother is enduring, he wishes he could carry it for him.
As I write this, I am filled with awe and sadness and inspiration. I pray to God that we can raise a family that will honor Him the way that this family does. Please join me in praying for this family as well as all families that suffer such tragedies.
If you would like to see the interview, please visit http://www.stevencurtischapman.com/