Praise God from whom all blessings flow…
– from Doxology (Thomas Ken)

I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the Lord, who does all these things.
Isaiah 45:7 (ESV)

So I found out today that Steven Curtis Chapman‘s youngest daughter, Maria Sue Chapman, died in an accident in the family driveway earlier this week.  She was only 5 years old.  Maria is the youngest of the Chapman children, and was adopted from China, just like her two older sisters in the Chapman family.  The Chapmans have been wonderful champions and advocates for adoption, and have helped in the effort to encourage adoption by God’s people of the many orphans in the world.  Each one of us – if we are Christians – has been adopted into God’s family by His grace, and so the Chapman’s adoption of their three girls from China is a reflection of that story of God’s grace.

But now tragedy has arrived; though we do not lose hope.  When I heard this news from my Mom today, my heart sank because I feel like I’ve gotten to know Steven Curtis Chapman over the many years of listening to his music (and even hearing him and Mary Beth on Focus on the Family & FamilyLife Today).  My Mom told me about how the song, Cinderella, was inspired out of a precious every-day-occurence that happened between SCC and his two girls one evening (it was bath time, apparently).  Cinderella is a song about treasuring the moments you have with your daughter, even when life seems too busy to slow down just for her, because all of a sudden you’ll realize she’s gone.  And if it isn’t because she’s grown up, it might be because of an unforeseen tragedy like this.  It’s a beautiful, fairly tale-like song that’s incredibly down-to-earth at the same time.  It conveys a lot about the special relationship between a father and his little girl.

If you’re able, please pray for the Chapman family during this time.  That the God of all comfort will comfort them by His Spirit and through His people.  And that God will work all these things for the good of those who love Him, as He promises He will – even if we can’t understand why or how he’s doing this.  Especially when we can’t understand.

So I will dance with Cinderella / while she is here in my arms.
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew.

I will dance with Cinderella / I don’t want to miss even one song.
‘Cause all too soon, the clock will strike midnight… / and she’ll – be – gone…

Cinderella, This Moment (Steven Curtis Chapman)