Saturday, August 9, 2008

Larry King and the Chapmans

Thursday night I made a point to watch "Larry King Live." I don't normally watch Larry King's program, but I saw that the Steven Curtis Chapman family were being interviewed by Larry King. I wanted to see what they would say. I wondered what questions Larry King would ask them. Of course, the interview centered on the death May 21, 2008 of their youngest daughter Maria Sue.

Maria Sue was playing outside that day in May. She wanted to "do the monkey bars." She just wasn't tall enough to reach them. When she saw her beloved brother Will driving down the drive, she ran toward him. She knew he would lift her up high enough to reach the monkey bars. Will didn't see her coming. All he knew was that the SUV hit something. And in a moment's time Maria Sue was lifted far higher than the monkey bars. She went straight into Jesus' arms.

What captivated me during the King interview was the honest, calm faith the Chapman family demonstrated. God showed up in Larry King's studio for all the world to see. Larry King honestly stated that he just didn't understand their faith, but he clearly saw the power of God's restoring grace in the five Chapmans he interviewed.

Apparently Will told Larry King as they left the set that he was going to pray for him to really "get it." Larry King doesn't understand (by his own admission) how God can be enough for such an incredibly tough time. But he also saw in living color a powerful demonstration of God's work to bring peace and purpose even in the most severe pain and loss!

The world is clammoring for real faith! Only real hearts restored by God's love and grace can demonstrate real faith to a world dying and lost - to hearts desperately in need of restoration. Actually that's exactly why there's A Restoration Church forming in the South Hills of Pittsburgh - to demonstrate God's power to restore broken hearts and lives! It's a compelling message! It's the heart of the Gospel!

Steven Curtis Chapman (SCC) has written many wonderful songs. One of them is titled "Yours." Since Maria Sue went to heaven, SCC has added another verse to "Yours":

I've walked the valley of death's shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I've had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everythng that I believe
But still even here in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
All I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.

In the lyrics of "Yours" SCC writes of streets in London, Uganda, Singapore, Manila and Shanghai and how it all belongs to God "from the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor ... it's all yours, God"!

I started thinking about the streets of Pittsburgh. Without permission I want to "tweak" SCC's lyrics:

"I walk the streets of [Pittsburgh] and notice in the faces passing by
something that makes me stop and listen
My heart grows heavy with the cry: Where is the hope for [Pittsburgh] ?
You whisper and my heart begins to soar as I'm reminded every street in [Pittsburgh] is Yours ...
And I hear children's voices singing of a God who heals and rescues and restores
And I'm reminded that every child in [Steeler Town] is Yours ...
It's all Yours, God - all our dreams are Yours
It's all Yours, God - all our plans are Yours, God ...
It's all Yours, God - everything is Yours!"

And because it all belongs to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords then we can pray and work and live as A Restoration Church confident that He Who began this good work will finish what He has started! (Philippians 1:6)

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