Steven Curtis Chapman - The Joy is Back

October 2013 - Cover Story
by Lori Hatcher

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October 2013 - Cover Story

When Christian singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5-year-old daughter Maria was killed in a tragic accident five years ago, he wondered if he would ever sing again.

“There’s not a greater pain than to be a parent and watch your child suffer,” he says, “and then, the only deeper place to walk through is losing a child, and being separated from that child.” Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, have experienced both of these heartbreaks: the car that accidentally struck and killed their youngest daughter was driven by their second son, Will. “We watched our son suffer, and we watched our family and our other children experience that loss. We watched them grieve, and we watched them hurt, and then also to have the loss of our child. (The pain) goes so deep in so many directions.”

As Chapman and his family moved through the dark days following Maria’s death, he wondered if it would ever be appropriate to make music that was joyful, happy, and fun. Instead, he sought solace in the familiar, recording an exclusive project for Cracker Barrel that he’d always wanted to do—a collection of hymns and old songs with a bluegrass twist.

Why did Christ die for you?

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