Monday, November 9, 2009


I love music...especially contemporary Christian music. I own more CDs than any one person has a right to own. Maybe someday I'll switch to an iPod..It sure would save a lot of space! But I doubt that I will, at least not any time soon. I really like being able to read the song lyrics and the liner notes included with CDs. When I'm alone in the house, the music is always TV for me!

I bought a new CD the other that I have really been looking forward to getting. It is the latest Steven Curtis Chapman CD, titled "Beauty Will Rise". On May 21, 2008, Steven's 5-year-old daughter, Maria, went to Heaven after being struck by a car driven by his son in their own driveway. The songs on this CD rise out his family's experiences and emotions following this tragic event. Before I ever listened to the CD, I sat down and read all the liner notes and song lyrics...a very emotional experience, because every one of the songs on this album captures some element of the journey we've been on for the past several months. I want to share the lyrics of one of these songs, along with the story behind it, in Steven Curtis Chapman's own words:

This little three-letter word took on enormous meaning to my family and me on May 22nd of 2008. The day after Maria went to Heaven, Mary Beth and I went to our house with friends to get some clothes for the next few days. (We had decided to stay with our friends The Andersons until we felt we could return to our house for good.) We walked from room to room feeling like we were lost in some terrible dream and tried to imagine ever living in this house again that had suddenly become so terribly quiet and empty. As I walked through the dining room I noticed a piece of paper on Maria's little art table where she and her sister would spend hours coloring and drawing and cutting and gluing. (Maria especially loved the gluing part!) On that piece of paper was a flower that had been drawn and colored with markers. It was one of Maria's signature flowers that she loved to draw, but this one appeared to be unfinished as only one of the petals was colored in with blue marker...the others were just outlined. Then I noticed something was written with marker on the back side of the paper. Now let me back up for just a minute and explain one other part of this story. Shortly after Maria had been carried away to Jesus, all of us, and particularly Caleb and I began to talk about how desperate we were just to "SEE" something...a dream or a vision...anything that would help confirm in some tangible way what we were holding onto by faith, that Maria was truly "okay", and even more than "okay", that she really was safe in the arms of Jesus. It was a plea that I heard us all say several times in those first hours..."God, please just let us "SEE" something!" So back to the flower artwork on the table--I turned the page over and was completely stunned to find a word written on the back in Maria's handwriting. To any of our knowledge she knew only 6 words that she could write..."I love you", "Mom", "Dad", and her name, "Maria". But there on the back of the paper she had written in all capital letters the word, "SEE". Even as one who is usually careful not to attach more meaning to something than it deserves, I was and still am completely convinced that this was a precious "gift" from the broken heart of our Father in Heaven delivered through our daughter's own hand the very morning before she left us for Heaven...I could picture the face of our little girl smiling at us and saying, "SEE mom and dad, SEE everybody, it's just like you said, only so much better...and I really am okay!" And it was our Father's way of saying, "SEE with eternal eyes, SEE that I have your little girl safe and sound with me, and SEE by faith My promise of the day that's coming very soon when I will make everything new and wipe every last one of these tears from your eyes." It wasn't until several days later that we also began to recognize a significance in the "unfinished" flower that she had drawn on that same paper. Of the six petals, only one was colored in with her favorite color, blue. Of our six children, only one has been completely "colored in" and made whole. The rest of us are still waiting for that coming day when finally we will clearly and completely SEE! I Corinthians 13:12.

(Song lyrics)
Right now all I can taste are bitter tears
And right now all I can SEE are clouds of sorrow
From the other side of all this pain
Is that you I hear?
Laughing loud and calling out to me?
Saying SEE, it's everything you said that it would be
And even better than you would believe
And I'm counting down the days until you're here with me
And finally you'll SEE
But right now all I can say is, "Lord how long?"
Before you come and take away this aching
This night of weeping seems to have no end
But when the morning light breaks through
We'll open up our eyes and we will SEE
It's everything He said that it would be
And even better than we would believe
And He's counting down the days 'til He says "Come with me."
And finally...
He'll wipe every tear from our eyes
And make everything new
Just like He promised
Wait and SEE
Just wait and SEE
Wait and SEE
And I'm counting down the days until I SEE
It's everything that He said that it would be
And even better than we would believe
And I'm counting down the days 'til He says, "Come with me"
And finally, we'll SEE
Wait and SEE
Oh taste and SEE that the Lord is good
The Lord is good
Oh taste and SEE that the Lord is good
The Lord is good.

While we wait to be "colored in", we look forward to SEEing what Hannah SEEs right now! It's even better than we would believe!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Jill, Byron bought that CD for me the day that it came out. The entire CD is a beautiful, healing instrument. I really love Spring is Coming and especially Heaven is the Face. This very morning, I just got through sharing Hannah's story with a student who was struggling with believing in Jesus. All the time, God is good.