Monday, August 4, 2008

Church, Baseball, and Steven Curtis Chapman

This past Saturday was a long, tiring, hot, joyful, fun, and wonderful day all at the same time.

Our family, along with several others from Chevis Oaks Baptist Church, caravaned to Atlanta to see the Atlanta Braves play the Milwaukee Brewers. We had a great time watching the game, talking with our church friends (who numbered about 25 total), and eating lots of unhealthy food. The only bad part was that the sun made it feel like it was about 120 degrees where we sat in right field. The Braves lost, but the game was still very enjoyable. The photo to the left is a view from about where we sat.

After the game, the best part began - a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. Steven is one of the best musicians in Christian contemporary music. The reason we were willing to sit through a hot baseball game was that we wanted to see and hear him play. Steven and his family have recently suffered a great tragedy with the death of their young daughter Maria Sue in a freak car accident. We were curious to see how this would affect his performance.

As the band was setting up all of the musical equipment after the game, the sky grew increasingly dark and ominous. Soon after this it began to rain. The wind blew trash from the stands all over Turner Field. We headed for cover by the food stands. After about an hour's delay, the rain stopped and Steven walked onto the stage.

God had plans that none of us anticipated. Due to all the water lying around, the band could not play. Therefore, Steven just pulled out his acoustic guitar and began playing. In between songs he read from the bible and talked about his family's life since the loss of Maria. It was very encouraging and inspiring to hear him speak about God's faithfulness in the midst of this trial. Despite the pain, he was still able to sing "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" as his first song of the night (this video was taken at a previous concert). He later sang "Cinderella," a song which he wrote about an older daughter, but which speaks a great deal about what has happened with Maria Sue (also previous video).

Although I like Steven Curtis Chapman as a musician, I am even more impressed with him as a person.

It was a great day hanging out with my family and church.

4 comments:

chandra said...

I can only imagine how great Steven Curtis Chapman was. We have seen him a couple times before. He is also one of our favorites. I know that had to be a very touching concert.

tmagskjohns said...

Eric, Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife MaryBeth will be on Good Morning America this Wed. (8/6). Also, if you get CNN, he'll be on Larry King live that day, not sure what time. Thanks for posting about him -- I checked out the videos and also saw an amazing one of him singing "Yours" with a new verse he wrote after the tragedy.
Mary

Eric said...

Chandra,

It was a great concert. It was a privilege to hear him speak about what God is doing through his daughter.

Eric said...

Mary,

Thanks for the information. We'll have to check it out.