The new album by Steven Curtis Chapman, beautywillrise, may be one of the most powerful expressions of art, music, and faith that I have ever heard.
About 6 months ago, the Chapman family was struck by a tragedy. While backing out of the driveway, their oldest son ran over their 5 year old adopted daughter Maria Sue. Just hours before they had been celebrating the engagement of the oldest daughter and were about to have a graduation party for their son. Complete joy was transferred to the deepest of grief.
This album is a heart-cry from Steven about his faith and what can rise from tragedy.
Music can often be touching, but I can’t remember being touched like I was by this album – ever. Our Hayden will be 5 at the end of this month and the thought of loosing him is one of the most painful things I could imagine. No parent should have to bury their child. To hear a man of such faith as Steven Curtis Chapman seriously question his God and his beliefs, but come back to the reality that there is a mighty God who has a plan much bigger than ours is powerful – very powerful. Talk about having your beliefs challenged in a way no one would desire — wow.
I am not sure my faith is that strong and pray it’s never tested like this. There is no greater time to question God than when a child is taken from this earth in such a way. But if I really believe what I say I believe, then that child is dancing with Angels in a heaven that is more splendid than anything we can imagine.
This album is also a powerful reminder of how we should treat our family, how we should speak to those we love, and what we should spend our time doing. If it was the last day, the last moment you had with your husband, your wife, your child, your parent — how differently would we treat them than we often do in times of anger or frustration.
I am thankful to be reminded by this music. Reminded that what really matters on this earth is faith, family, and friends.