In his brand new autobiography, Between Heaven and the Real World, released last month, Steven Curtis Chapman shared how the Bible's shortest verse turned his life around. With only two words "Jesus Wept," John 11:35 revolutionized the life of this CCM songwriter and singer.
On May 21, nearly nine years ago, 5-year-old Maria, the youngest of three daughters adopted from China, was in the backyard when she saw her brother pulling in the driveway and ran to greet him. The teen couldn't stop in time and struck Maria. The Chapmans' world spun out of control. Since then, Chapman has been asked countless times about the tragedy, and it doesn't get easier to talk about. He calls the incident "the ultimate unfixable."
His prayers were choppy and desperate in those hours waiting at the hospital. "God, You can't let this happen. ... You can't ask this of us," he prayed. "We can't do this ... You've got to heal my little girl right now ... please, God. You can do this ... I know You can!"
Maria passed away that night.
With her passing, the shortest verse in the Bible came alive for Chapman: "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). "Boy, that verse, that smallest verse in the Bible has become so profound to me," he said.
The verse is from a story about Jesus' friend, Lazarus, who had just died. Jesus would ultimately raise Lazarus from the dead, but He first grieved with His friends."He honored the loss that they were feeling," Chapman said. After his own daughter's death, he was comforted "to know a Savior who weeps with us, to know a God who doesn't say, 'Hey, come on. Cheer up. Where's your faith?'"
Steven Curtis Chapman is a multi-award winning artist, with five GRAMMY® Awards to his name, 58 Dove Awards, 48 No. 1 radio singles, an American Music Award and more. With more than 11 million albums sold, this year he celebrates 30 years since the release of his first album. His memoir, Between Heaven & the Real World, releases March 7, 2017 with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing.