Eugene Cho

tragedy in steven curtis chapman’s family

* Part II:  The Hope in this Tragedy | Part III: Life Lessons from the Memorial Service

* Guest column I wrote for the Seattle P.I. [published on June 9]

May 21 | Incredibly painful and tragic news in what was meant to be a celebratory week for the Chapman family.

“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…” [Jim Houser, Chapman’s Manager]

As a parent, my heart just aches for Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman.  Their youngest child – 5 year old Marie Sue [adopted from China] – was struck and killed in an accident by an SUV driven by their teenage son [in their driveway].  They have six children of which three are adopted from China.  Their foundation and ministry – Shaohannah’s Hope – advocates for international adoption.  Read official news below.

I know that in my [recovering] cynicism, I have a tendency of taking pokes at CCM [Contemporary Christian Music(ians)] but truth be told, artists like Steven Curtis Chapman ministered very deeply to my soul – especially during the early years of my walk with Christ.  He, Amy Grant, and Rich Mullins were probably some of the deeper influences after I came to the revelation and revolution of Christ.  Chapman’s song, “I will be There,” is still in our home’s weekly playlist [see lyrics below].

I know that one death pales in comparison to the global news of thousands of tragic deaths in Burma [Nargis Cyclone], China [earthquake], and the daily staggering statistics of global poverty, but Chapman’s influence through his music makes it feel so close to home.

Praying for the entire Chapman family – especially father, mother, siblings, and the older brother involved in this accidental death.  Lord is near.  May they experience His presence and redemptive grace during their confusion, anger, mourning and healing.

Here’s a YouTube video of Maria [In Memory of Maria]:

***********************************************************************************

*  NEWS REPORTS: the Seattle PI [AP News/below]; CNN NewsPeople Magazine; and article from the Tennessean that first reported the news.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

The girl, Maria, was hit in a driveway on the family residence Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  [full article]

*  OFFICE RELEASE from Steven Curtis Chapman’s website.

*  UPDATE 5/25:  An article in the Tennessean entitled, 2,000 mourn Chapman girl, Stand by Brother, as the Chapman family lays to rest their youngest daughter Maria Sue Chapman.  The story shares how the Chapman family celebrates Marie Sue’s life, mourns the loss, and demonstrates love and commitment for the son & brother who accidentally kills Marie Sue.  All examples of beautiful and redemptive hope.

*************************************************************************************

Here are the beautiful [and poignant lyrics] to “I Will Be There”…

Tomorrow mornin’ if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I…I will be here

If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear
‘Cause I…I will be here

I will be here…
When you feel like bein’ quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin’
Through the winnin’ and
losin’ and tryin’
We’ll be together
‘Cause I will be here

Tomorrow mornin’ if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I…I’ll be here

Just as sure as seasons
are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
I…I will be here

I will be here….
You can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we’re older
I will hold you

And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the
things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true
To the promise I have made
To you and to the
One who gave you to me

I…I will be here

And just as sure as seasons
are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
‘Cause I…
I will be here….
We’ll be together

‘Cause I will be here

Filed under: family, religion, ,

103 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    Wow. This is very very tragic. His music has always spoken to my heart.

  2. Kevin says:

    I am heartbroken about this. I am a fan of Steven Curtis Chapman even though his music is not my favorite style, I love him as a sincere brother in Christ. I admire him greatly and I am praying for him and his entire family. I am sure there is a reason for everything that we may not understand, but it is so painful to hear about this. God be with the family.

  3. Kim says:

    My heart is breaking for this family. Lord, have mercy.

  4. ryanbd says:

    wow that is really tragic. I pray for that family especially the brother – I’m sure he’s devastated.

  5. Matt says:

    What a tragedy! Thank you for letting us know. My boys and I have already prayed for their family.

  6. Longing for Holiday says:

    Way too close to home. My 5 year old is adopted from China. They look so much alike. How horrible for the whole family.

  7. Eugene Byon says:

    Eugene, thanks for posting a link to this on Facebook so I could know about this. As someone whom God has touched during the deepest hurts and pains in life through Steven’s music, my heart aches for the Chapman family…

  8. Jessie says:

    i can’t believe it…i particularly feel for the older brother. what a nightmare.

  9. Maria from Nashville says:

    I’m speechless. I heard news about this earlier today and prayed it was a misprint. This is so tragic.

  10. gar says:

    That’s horrible… my condolences to the whole family. It doesn’t really get much worst than that…

  11. […] to ask that you would be in prayer for the Chapman family. I just read over on Eugene Cho’s blog that his five year old daughter (who is one of three girls they have adopted from China) was […]

  12. katie says:

    I worked at the orphanage in China four years ago (The Philip Hayden Foundation) where they adopted at least one of their daughters…it was probably Maria. The whole orphanage loved them. I have nothing but deep respect for that family and all of their advocacy work. What a horrific accident.

  13. Allie says:

    My heart goes out to the Chapman family and I have prayed that God will bring them through this terrible accident. The son of course will go through so much guilt with this that I pray God walks beside him and helps him to forgive himself. God truly does take our hurts, brings us through them and with everything, no matter how tragic, He is there.

    SSC has touched my heart deeply with his lyrics/songs as he has done millions of others and it is so sad that this could happen to a loving, wonderful Christian family.

    My heart, tears and prayer go out to the Chapmans…:-(

  14. BUSH says:

    thanks for sharing this man. i can’t imagine what they are going through right now. we are praying.

  15. Donna says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this tragic time. We have a close friend that backed over his daughter and I know this will be a tough time for your son, but please assure him the God is there for him, and he will get through this with the love and support of his family. God Bless you all.

  16. wedgienet says:

    this is really sad. i almost cried. my heart goes out for their family.

  17. We heard of this tragedy as we awoke this morning. Our local Christian radio station [WCRH, 90.5] announced it.
    We are praying for the Lord’s comfort for the entire Chapman family at this time.

  18. Sarah Torres says:

    Words do not come….tears flow like oceans of water. A ceasless tide of salt and sea. Our God is Sovereign and reigns in His holy habitation. His eyes do not dim nor does He turn His face. His hands are strong and reach out to you. His heart is pure and full of love. We cannot understand but in His kingdom all of His perfect wisdom and timing will be revealed. Beauty for ashes is promised to those who trust in Him.

  19. Cindy Chism says:

    Sadly, statistics are HUGE for children being backed over or runover by accident. They are small and difficult to see. You dont see them in the rearview or the side mirrors. I pray for the teenager who was driving. “Father God, this was an accident, and all the world knows it. Please, send ministering angels to hold this teen and give comfort. The worst burden to carry would be–I killed my sister. Lord, hold this teenagers mind together and his heart too. Help him to be strong and help him to forgive himself, which is one of the hardest things to do sometimes. Help him to understand that You forgive him, and he must be like You and forgive himself.” I ask this in Jesus’ name. amen

  20. Bob B. says:

    Pastor Cho,

    I got here via Yahoo Buzz. Your article was there and I appreciated this entry and your highlight of the Chapman’s Foundation and Ministry. I want to ask your readers to check out their foundation and visit Yahoo Buzz and vote so that others might learn of their wonderful work.

    http://buzz.yahoo.com/article/1:wordpress:7ba72ef8ca8b991e0c3506c2a75f7bc3;_ylt=AgUF5APC4N3jNkBxLyIdLg_Wn414

  21. charm says:

    Thank you for your comments and the song lyrics, how appropriate. I respect SCC as a true and deep follower and servant. He has given his whole life to serving and with the adoption work they do, i mean, how could you not respect the man. The song Cinderella touches me and my daughter really loves it too. I recently heard an interview with SCC and how he wrote that song. It happened like no other song he has written and it involved his daughters in real life.
    I am devastated for them! I just cannot stop weeping in sharing my brother in Christ’s grief. How tragic, how horrible. The poor brother! I cannot imagine the sadness that hangs over thier home at this hour. I don’t think he will ever be able to sing that song again and I won’t be able to hear it without bawling my eyes out.
    Beauty for Ashes. And to think I spent the night wondering who was going to win American Idol ( I had not heard the news until this morning )……. what a waste,,,,

  22. Brenda S. says:

    I pray God will be especially close to them in their time of sorrow. No one knows our sorrow as deeply as He does. I pray God’s blessings on them.

  23. lwayswright says:

    such heartbreaking news for that family. I have teen drivers in my family and there is nothing scarier…all the accidents that happen with young drivers these days, accidental and otherwise, seem to be a growing epidemic in our country. It is a terribly sad situation. I feel horrible for that young driver, and for the family for their loss.

  24. A W says:

    I am called to pray for you and your family during this hour grief and sorrow. Your family is in the Arms of God. He has your peace and comfort. Lay your heads upon His breast and rest there with Him. He feels your pain but has a plan for you and your ministry.

    Agape and Peace

  25. Sarah says:

    Hi. I’m sooooooooo sorry about what happened. we prayed in the car, and we feel so sad. We are big fans of his music, and we grieve for his loss. I’m 11, and I would feel horrible if my brother was ran over. I hope that the Lord gives him peace.

  26. Linda Howard says:

    May the love, joy and peace from our heavely Father sustain you as you and your family heal together in this time of sorrow.
    So I’ll stand
    With arms high and heart abandoned
    In awe of the One who gave it all
    I’ll stand
    My soul Lord to You surrendered
    All I am is Yours

  27. Marjorie R. says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. As someone that knows about losing a child I know that empty feeling that you feel. You and your family are in our prayers.

  28. dealornodeal1965 says:

    I can say nothing of comfort.
    Just know I am praying for you!

  29. Tonja B says:

    I am truely sadend by the news of your daughter Maria. I hope you can, one day, find Peace. I do understand the loss of a child, I lost 2 of my triplet children – 15 days after birth. I prayed a lot and screamed a lot, but God and the inspiration from people like you, helped me get through each day. Also, may your son find peace in his life, I can not even imagine how he is feeling. Your family is in my thought and prayers. May God give you strength.

  30. Sheila and Korey M says:

    The whole Chapman family is in our prayers. We pray that our great God and Savior will give peace and comfort to all grieving and shattered hearts through the redemtion that is in Christ Jesus. There is a resurrection to look forward to! Praise God!

    Saints, Stephen Chapman has had such a powerful ministry to so many of us. May we, the Body of Christ, be faithful in prayer and in whatever else we can do for our brother and his family during this time.

  31. Wayne Park says:

    man, I’m bummed. SC2 was one of my favs back in the day. In my book he’s one of the few legit ccm artists out there. Unfortunately it seems tragedy hits him in some way often…

  32. Valerie says:

    Prayers are going up this very moment. Heavenly Father, comfort this family. We know you cause ALL things to work together for good for those who love You. Please surround each member of this family with those who will love them and support them through this time of great tragedy. We thank you for the Chapmans and their testimony to the world. Bless them, each and every one, and comfort them. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.

  33. robin says:

    I know you will miss her here very much ,but someday you will see her again and I know she is having a wonderful time with Jesus and other children including mine..
    in his love

  34. Megan Hudzinski says:

    I am praying for God’s covering of mercy and Grace over this beautiful family. I pray especially for thier young son, Oh I can’t even imagine what he is feeling. But what a complete blessing that Maria knows the lord, and is in paradise dancing with the angels. Praise God From whom all blessings flow…

  35. Bob. B. says:

    Thanks for highlighting this event. This is the #1 post on WordPress right now. Even in the midst of this tragedy, I pray that God will show what an incredible family they are and bring people to the knowledge of Christ.

  36. julie stagen says:

    we are sincerely praying for relief from the pain. I guess this causes us to really take time to reflect and listen to the words of our favorite songs and ask ourselves “do we really believe what we are listening too”. Our hope is that you all find comfort, as so many of us have experienced, from your talent.

  37. Steve P says:

    … the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Rom 8: 26,27 NIV)

  38. Janet Gathright says:

    “This Is The Great Adventure” was my first favorite song of SCC and our family loved listening to his music on trips when they were teens… we could all enjoy and relate. He is a tremendous talent and servant of the Lord and I know Mary Beth has had much to do with that as well. God pour out Your blessings of peace and mercy on them now.
    You have plans for each of these Chapman children and the teen brother must look ahead at what You are going to do in his life. It was an accident. Family in Christ, I’m so sad that this has happened and I’m praying for you.

  39. Laura Lee says:

    To the Chapman family, I am very sorry to hear what happened and my heart is broken for you. I pray that GOD will some how show his face and life you up. For your son who must be just beside himself, Isaiah 54:17, no weapons formed against him shall prosper. I don’t know what else to say, even through this, GOD has a perfect plan. You may not see it, but I know that it will be used for his glory.

    Know that I will pray for you all daily. That is not just words, !!!.

    Your little angel is smiling down waiting for your family in heaven, and is getting ready for a family reunion.

  40. Lisa Hassler says:

    My heart is breaking for your family. Your music is so familiar to me that I feel I know you all.
    Our family is praying for God’s strength for you during this very difficult time. My family knows well about tragedy and we also know about God’s grace and mercy through it all. Lean on Him for everything! Bless you all…..

  41. Karen Burnett says:

    May God give you and your family the strength and comfort and to make it through this terrible time in your families life. I will be praying for you all.

  42. Lin says:

    wondering what ever happened to miracles? I feel for this family terribly, and well I believe we are called to raise the dead in these terrible situations. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy and the Lord doesn’t do that. It’s up to us to fight the enemy here… I pray that they will hold fast to their faith and believe that with Christ, all things are possible!!

  43. […] tragedy in steven curtis chapman’s family Incredibly painful and tragic news in what was meant to be a celebratory week for the Chapman family.  “Just […] […]

  44. Don says:

    Very sad. But the Lord will redeem and restore. OUr prayers are with the Chapman family.

  45. Kristin says:

    I am so terribly sorry for this tragic event. It is times like this that we question why God allows such terrible things to happen to such good people. Though he called this child home, it’s hard to understand why at such a young age. Thank God that this family has devoted their lives to the Lord, for this will be their rock during the worst times in their lives. It is through HIM that they will get through this – they will ALL be reunited one day, and only then will the question be answered as to why God called her home yesterday.

  46. That is SO incredibly awful. I wonder how the older brother feels.
    I have been praying for the Chapman family.

  47. Kevin says:

    Definitely a tragic occurrence. I know there was and is still a purpose for this child being taken so suddenly. She is in the hands of God now. Much better place than we are. I am from his home state and I am sure along with me there are hundreds and thousands that will remember this family in their prayers.. God watch over and keep this family under your care..

  48. […] family.  They have 6 kids, 3 biological kids and they have adopted 3 little girls from China.  Here is a blog post with some details and the newspaper article if you’re interested.  And here is a blog that […]

  49. Mike says:

    When I first heard the shocking news, my thoughts immediately went to my own daughter who is only 19 months and how tragic it would be to lose her. My heart goes out to the Chapman family and I pray for God’s presence in the sorrow and pain of the loss of such a young life.

  50. […] May 23, 2008 · No Comments I don’t normally click on any of the Top Posts links at WordPress but I noticed this one: tragedy in steven curtis chapman’s family. […]

  51. Audball says:

    My Husband and I are praying for Steven and his family. Our wedding song is “I will be here”. This is what Jesus is saying to him and his family-Tomorrow morning when you wake up, and the future is unclear, I will be here. In jesus, we live, move and have our being. Maria is absent from the body but very present with the Lord Jesus. Be encouraged. We will pray you through. Love Always- Peter, Audrey, Peter Ryan and Emily Slone

  52. blu1236 says:

    All praing for you here in Eureka. You have meant a lot to us over the years. Alison Krauss said it best in “there is a reason”

    Love ya bro

    Dennis and Jennifer

  53. controlling chaos says:

    I personally knew Steven but never met his family. This is a very sad time. I’m at a loss for words but can only wish you peace and ask God to help you all through this time.

  54. Sandra Soroka says:

    Horrible accident! The outpouring of support is amazing.

  55. stella says:

    This is sad. I’ve seen them when they were here in the Philippines.
    May God comfort the family.

  56. […] A Monologue on Μοῖραι Steven Curtis Chapman May 23, 2008 Tragic news found here concerning the family of Contemporary Christian Music singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman.  […]

  57. bcuzicare says:

    Most Precious and Heavenly Father, we come to you with humble hearts, Thanking You for Your Eternal Love and Mercy. We ask that You wrap Your Arms of Protection around the Chapman Family and give them the “Peace” they will need in this troubled time. We know Father that You are a Just and Righteous God, and will never error. Grant the Chapman Family the understanding and comfort their hearts need, that only the Holy Spirit can provide. We will continue to Lift Up Your Name, and give You Praises with All Honor and Glory.

    We Pray this Special Prayer in the Name of Jesus. Amen…and Amen!!

    And the Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7

    Chapman Family – May God Bless You and Keep You!!

  58. zeynepankara says:

    So sad…

  59. As being a fellow father, Steven Curtis Chapman’s most recent song has hit home. Cinderella tells the most beautiful story of treasuring every second of life that we are granted. I greive with the Chapman family, but I also rejoice that they have seemingly savoured every moment. Not one of us know when our time will come to take our place in the kingdom of God. But when we do, what legacy do we leave behind? As for me, I know that Maria “Cinderella” Chapman will forever remind me to love my little girl today….”While she is here in my arms”… I believe that right now Jesus is dancing with Cinderella. The King of Kings is placing the glass slippers on her feet and giving her joy beyond measure.

  60. […] I wrote a simply post entitled, “Tragedy in Steven Curtis Chapman’s Family.”  Little did I know that it would be the most read blog entry in the entire WordPress […]

  61. rogueminister says:

    When I read the news report I was shocked. I am currently living in China and we just started to digest the tragedy of the terrible earthquake here. Now to hear that the Chapmans lost a daughter whom they had adopted from this country just left me a bit astonished. May God bless this family and all the families suffering from great tragedies right now.

  62. graceMark says:

    Words left in a comment don’t nearly do justice to the tragedy. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement comparing the devastation in Myanmar and China to the Chapman’s situation. Mathematically and logically they don’t compare, but, because of the personal connection to Chapman’s music over time (“I Will Be Here” was our wedding song and “Cinderella” a song that is now eternally linked to my daughter), it weighs heavily. My family will continue to pray.

  63. […] Beauty And Depravity’s post on the Chapman tragedy […]

  64. […] This blog link shares the details.</em> […]

  65. Rachelle says:

    I would like to offer my condolences to the entire Chapman family. I heard of your tragedy on 90.3 fm (WJTL in Lancaster, PA). Please know that my family’s thoughts and prayers are with you during this time and for the years to come. Thankfully, we know that our God is a good God ALL of the time. For non-believers and even for some Christians, it may be difficult to see the good that will come out of this tragedy. I can already see some of the good that has come out of this situation. There are thousands of people praying and showing their love and support for a singer/song writer, brother-in-Christ who has done so much to bless others. I pray that the love of Christ will cover you and all of your family and friends as you continue your walk with Him. Be blessed. Love In Christ.

    Rachelle in PA

  66. Paul says:

    Oh, what sorrowful news this is. i just stumbled upon this at the WordPress home page. My condolences. Lord, give them strength.

  67. unnikuttan says:

    I am so sorry for Steven

  68. erik says:

    “I know there was and is still a purpose for this child being taken so suddenly. She is in the hands of God now.”

    What purpose is that? I feel badly for SCC, and that is a tragedy. horrible, horrible tragedy. prayers go out to his family for comfort, strength and help.

    i’m not trying to be a jerk but how could you say there is a purpose in this?!?!?! Are you saying God willed her to be killed? what kind of a sick God is that? God is a lot better then that. He can turn this around for some sort good, because I’m sure SCC loves God and he’s called according to his purpose. But I believe God wanted this child to live a lot longer than this.

  69. I had to drop to my knees and pray for this family when I heard the news. It is so incredibly heartbreaking.

    To ERIK:
    None of us understand God’s will at times. But through faith we know that HE does know what is best. Through faith we also know that God did have his will with this child. While SCC and family are devastated and their lives will never be the same, they were blessed with this child for a while. I believe God sent her to them for a purpose and once it was done, He took her home to be with Him. Her reason for being has been accomplished and no matter how wonderful her life with this beautiful family was, her life in heaven with God is better. She’ll never cry again. She won’t miss the joys this earth has to offer because they can’t compare with heaven’s joys. And yes, God can turn this around for good – and as Christians, the Chapmans will grieve but they have the comfort of knowing she’s loved and cared for and they will see her again.

  70. Luke says:

    I don’t have answers. Only the experience of struggle and questioning, which somehow strengthen my faith and hope through wrestling and suffering. And here’s all I’ve come to:

    http://desiringlife.wordpress.com/2007/08/04/symphony/

  71. cindy says:

    To the Chapmans, and to all who suffer the loss of precious family members and friends:
    God’s love is over all. May it fill, heal and comfort you in this difficult time. May this experience be a catalyst for serving, growing and singing in new, more effective way, to reach the millions who do not have hope, who do not know the joy of following a perfect Master.
    In peace,
    Cindy

  72. erik says:

    So God used something like a car accident because he wanted her home? Have you ever read the 91st Psalm!? “With long life I will satisfy him…”

    “I’m sorry, I’m not one to argue and debate but watching Christians blame God for tragedy and pain like this is what drives people away from God. It’s a bunch of theological nonsense, and flat out demonic lies, if you ask me. I’m not saying God can’t turn this out somehow for good, and it’s not absolutely fantastic that she’s in heaven, but I believe God desired for that girl to live out her days and fulfill God’s will for her life.

    And why would God use a car accident…? If you hit someone with a car to cut someone’s life short you’d be locked up in jail. But if God does it, it’s just part of his plan. Give me a break.

  73. Patricia J James-Douglass says:

    To the Chapman Family, hearing about your little girl Maria Sue passing hurt my heart.
    When you cannot find the answer to all your doubts and fears. GOD CAN.
    When you are needing someone to wipe away your tears. GOD CAN.
    God can do more than you could ever ask or think. He holds the power in His mighty
    hand. When you cannot see your way, just remember this my friend. GOD CAN.

    Praying that you will be comforted by the many thoughts of love sent your way and by the countless prayers of those who care. May you find peace in His presence as He gives you strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

    IN SYMPATHY

    Patricia J. James-Douglass
    Temple Hills, MD

  74. JusticeImpartial says:

    I know this is going to sound really harsh and unpopular.
    There are a few things that are overlooked here, i couldn’t find the heart to post it at chapman website.
    Consider the following :-
    1. it was reckless driving that killed an innocent child.
    2. No name was given as to the driver, where else if this was to happened to some other families, the driver who has just commited this “accident”, would have been named. Why should one be further protected when its a loss of life has occured.

    3. Maria is 5 years old and she is not immobile but an active young child. It would take the driver to drive the vehnicle at an unacceptable acceleration to kill that kid at HOME driveway.

    As much as the pain of the chapman needs to be comforted, one cannot just ignore the “crime” that was commited.

  75. chad says:

    tragic. and i wish i could grieve properly for this family i do not know. the only hope i have in this is that this tragedy will cause people to pause and consider the wisdom of owning very large personal vehicles – i know it sounds crass and unfeeling and in a way, i acknowledge that it is. and i don’t really want to go into it here as it seems just entirely inappropriate – i just wanted to share the one ray of hope i see that might come out of this.

  76. David says:

    This is such a horrible tragedy…my prayers and my condolences go out to the Chapman family.

    Unfortunately, this tragedy happens to more than 225 children EVERY YEAR. Typically, these kids are killed by family members in their own driveways. Safe Kids USA, the charity, has tips for parents here:

    http://www.usa.safekids.org/skbu/cars/spotthetot.html

  77. Tara says:

    The song posted is beautiful— Steven Curtis Chapman also recorded a song a few years ago entitled “With Hope”. Everyone should check it out. It sends the message to parents and family members who have lost children. Here are the lyrics, which are precious, but the recording is worth listening to while saying a prayer for the family.

    1 Thess. 4:13-14 / Heb. 6:9, 10:23

    This is not at all how
    We thought it was supposed to be
    We had so many plans for you
    We had so many dreams
    And now you’ve gone away
    And left us with the memories of your smile
    And nothing we can say
    And nothing we can do
    Can take away the pain
    The pain of losing you, but …

    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 …

    We have this hope as an anchor
    ‘Cause we believe that everything
    God promised us is true, so …

    We wait with hope
    And we ache with hope
    We hold on with hope
    We let go with hope

  78. Cathy says:

    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Words cannot express my sorrow. I work with kindergarten age children and they are a blessing because they are so honest and loving. They accept us as we are warts and all. I pray that in all this you wiil experience God’s prescence and peace. You are loved!!!!!!

  79. jl says:

    Justice…words like yours are, unfortunately, the words some of us have been expecting. 1. You don’t know of have all the facts…don’t presume to know them
    2. You don’t know the young man involved, what was going on with him at the time, how quickly a little one can move across a winding path–in an instant my friend. 3. You don’t know the “dark night of the soul” that he is grappling with. 4. Basically, including some Godly wisdom, well, I for one feel like you really don’t know a lot.

    Life indeed spins on a dime. If you haven’t found this out to be true, just wait…you will indeed see how it can turn in a nanosecond.

    Finally, why should the boy’s name be released? It was truly a most horrific and tragic accident. It will be revealed soon enough.

    Move from the the place of judge down and then up again to place of God’s grace…that is, truly if you have ever known it for yourself. If indeed you haven’t, well, that may indeed explain your response.

    God is going to do great things in time through this young man and his family from the seeds of sorrow here…seeds of sorrow that come from things we really don’t KNOW about…only what we THINK we know.

    Know this, Christ, who is both balanced in both grace and truth knows more than anyone here. And certainly real justice demands knowing as many of the facts as can be known…fact, Justice, that I know you are not privvy too. “Do justy—Love Mercy—and Walk HUMBLY with your God.”

  80. jl says:

    BTW, and am not so sure that “finding the heart to post it on the Chapman site” was really the problem. I sadly suspect that it wasn’t a matter of “heart” but rather a matter of courage. Something inside you knows that you haven’t the right or place to make comments–and to, as we say in my profession, “Diagnose sight unseen.”

    Now I pray God’s grace to you also…for if you get the “justice” you deserve…indeed if any of us got the full justice of what we deserve, we’d all be in eternally horrifying trouble. Please consider your responses carefully. You know it is written that we will be held accountable for “every idle word.” Yes…every empty word or message…

  81. The Ortiz Family says:

    From our house and hearts to yours, YOUNG MAN CHAPMAN- accidents are just that
    ACCIDENTS- it was not your fault. IT IS NO ONES FAULT.
    God has a greater plan to out do this event. Do not let this become the single most defining moment in your life. Let it be a spring board to the pr=oclamation of the gospel of PEACE, GRACE AND HOPE~

  82. There are lessons for all of us in the Steven Curtis Chapman double tragedy where the youngest son accidentally kills the youngest daughter. How do you deal with such grief? I have written an essay on this; if you wish, you can read here: http://frankahilario.blogspot.com/

  83. Beverly says:

    An article from the Tennessean that portrays the beautiful and painful funeral service:

    http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080525/NEWS01/805250411/1006

  84. […] Their five-year-old adopted daughter was killed by a car being backed up by their teenage son, as this post by Rev. Eugene Cho relates.  In particular please remember the young man who was driving that vehicle, for his life […]

  85. so sad… i heard the news from our pastor who admired scc most.
    when i was in high school i was inspired by the song and his original composition
    “i will be here” … and starting that time i began to research who is scc? then i found out how good he is as a christian, as a son, as a husband, and as a father who have the heart to adopt. Let the love, comfort and peace of GOD reign in Chapman’s family.

    In Christ,
    erlanie
    GLCI, Philippines

  86. Teresa says:

    Romans 8:28 – God works all things for good

  87. eugenecho says:

    @JusticeImpartial: i give you that it may take courage to post anything in public nowadays but courage doesn’t equal wisdom.

    your comment that “a crime” was being ignored is frankly, nonsensensical.

    it was an accident. horrible, tragic, and deathly…but nonetheless, an accident. case closed and now time, for forgiveness and compassion to be poured on that young man’s life.

  88. Wendy says:

    While I am not a christian, I do love Steven Curtis Chapmans music and have listened for quite awhile. I will be here was my wedding song. I am so saddened to hear about his loss. My thoughts are with him in this difficult time.

  89. Kendy Peers says:

    my prayers go out to the chapman family and they will be back with Maria in heaven when all of us will be praising the lord our god my gods grace be with you during this time god bless you and your wonderful family with the love kendy

  90. […] is the link to Cho’s post on the tragedy, Part I. There is a link from there to Parts II and III at the […]

  91. Dale Rogers says:

    This is to me from a friend tryin 2 reach the family:
    A few days ago I heard about Steven Curtis Chapman and the accident involving their son and daughter. When I read about what happened tears filled my eyes as I was taken back to almost 3 years ago when I had the car accident with my daughter Holly…..also at our home. How my heart broke for SCC’s son and my spirit grieved for their whole family. I simply cannot imagine what they are certainly going through right now.
    I am desperate for their son to know that he is not alone. (Psalm 16.8) How I long for him to believe that God was in control at the time of the accident….and is still in control. Nothing escapes his watchful eye…he makes no mistakes. (Psalm 139.2-3) My deepest desire is for this young man to rest assured that God can take what seems like a senseless tragic accident and turn it into something beautiful where He is glorified. (2 Corinthians 3.17-18) And oh, I wish I could I could convey to this man the perfect peace that only God can pour out on his life. (John 16.33)
    If I could tell him one thing it would be what you told me, Mr. Shepard…just after I ran over my very own daughter. The fact that God’s son, Jesus, died for all sin. The guilt and shame and feelings of worthlessness (lies that we believe from Satan) that he surely feels, or will feel, have been completely erased on the cross of Calvary….with the blood of Jesus. (Isaiah 43.25) You helped me realize that my pain should not be about me, but that God allowed this to happen so that He may receive the glory…all the glory….and to trust Him for my future. What a precious reminder that God is not finished with me yet. He is constantly, and consistently, working to make me more like Him everyday….and in every way. The plans of our Lord are sometimes mysterious (2 Samuel 22.31) but we can trust that He has a wonderful future for our lives. (Romans 8.28)
    Mr. And Mrs. Shepard, thank you for your support for me. I am praying and believing that God will use this experience in a miraculous way and provide the peace that passes all understanding to the Chapman family. (Numbers 6.23-27)
    *I am desperate for this young man to receive this hope (Psalm 42.5,11…..Psalm 147.11) and I am wondering if you could personally deliver this to them for me…either by way of email or letter. I know the Christian community has sent numerous cards, etc. to this family, however I want this young man to feel a more personal letter. Maybe if he knows that you all know me and my family it may be an added comfort….that there is someone “out there….closer to him” that can sympathize and empathize with him bec I understand part of what he is going through. (2 Corinthians 1.3,4) I hope you understand what I am trying to say. I stand as a testimony to the fact that God’s grace is sufficient for all and his mercies are new every morning. (2 Corinthians 12.9-10) Oh, I pray that this young man will run to the cross!! (Psalm 46.10)
    Mr. And Mrs. Shepard, I want this son of THE King to know that God still loves him!!! (Psalm 143.8, 145.8-9, 108.4, 57.10, 36.5, Zephaniah 3.17) To remember whose he is and that God has not left him. (Psalm 145.18) He is there even now….walking beside him…in the midst of this valley. (Isaiah 43.1-3) It may be raining now but there are abundant showers of joy and promise ahead. The SON is shining just over the mountain! (Psalm 30.4,5)
    My tender thoughts and prayers are with you and the Chapman family! I would appreciate it if you could somehow forward this to the Chapman family for me and let them know that God DOES heal! (Psalm 147.3) Thank you so very much! And may God continue to bless you and your ministry!
    In Christ,
    –dwiale5

  92. Jackie C. says:

    What can I add to those who have spoken from their hearts? Except I join with their voices and say God is in control and my heart ,tears and prayers are with you and your family everyday. May you see the wonders God will brings out of this and the new growth that will develop from this terrible time in your life. I also pray that God through the power of the Holy Spirit will minister to your other children and comfort their hearts as only He can do.

  93. Joanie Knill says:

    I just heard about this Sunday in church, …..and it just left my heart aching for their loss. A loss that’s soooo deep that no words could truly convey. I just pray for them,…all the while knowing, …He has ALL of them in the palm of His hands.

  94. Brittany says:

    As a person who has lost a younger sibling of my own, all that i can truly say is pray for this family. They need all the love that they can get. ITs hard to go through somehting like this, but it is truly amazing to see God help them, Please Please keep them all in your prayers.
    Jeremiah 29:11

  95. […] you should read.  It’s honest, raw, and painfully beautiful.  In the same way that the recent Chapman family tragedy compelled me, reading this made me go straight to my kids’ room to just hug, kiss, and […]

  96. Susann says:

    God Bless You Chapman Family,

    In this time of grief and always…

  97. JODI says:

    I loved your music for along time. I would love here you live. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Your song you wrote “I will be there” was song at my wedding. I last my husband a little over a year ago at the age of 27. With out the love and support of Jesus Christ and family and friend I would be as strong as I am today

  98. […] (tie). Tragedy in Steven Curtis Chapman’s Family at Beauty and Depravity AND What do Evangelicals do Well? at Jesus […]

  99. myyellowbike says:

    What a little angel. So sorry to hear about this.

  100. My brother suggested I might like this web site.
    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day.
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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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  • The Gospel, not social justice, is our identity as believers but the Gospel compels us to love God/love people incl. work 4 the common good. || 1 day ago
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