A close friend of the Steven Curtis Chapman family, Kerry Hasenbalg is keeping the unseen community of the grieving updated on important events and milestones in their life after losing Maria. As a member of the Fellowship of the Suffering, I find her words especially tender and insightful. This particular post describes bracelets the women of the family received after the memorial service. Made of gold, pearl, and clear crystals, the jewelry is a reminder of John’s vision of eternity in Revelation 21 (my favorite chapter of the Bible!). Read it – the post and the chapter in the Bible. They are both beautiful.
Grief is a crazy, unpredictable thing. In his most recent post, Jim Houser, Chapman’s manager and friend, says the family members are “gaining some ground, getting back on their feet a
bit. And yet the valley is deeper than expected. Thanks for praying.” His postings surrounding the tragedy are also powerful, but don’t read them while you are at work. I made that mistake earlier this week and had to cut out early to pick up my babies from day care because I missed them so much!
My own grief always feels heightened in the wake of someone else’s fresh experience of it. We lost our baby daughter, Ellery Blythe, more than five years ago. I hope to find a “Heaven Power” bracelet for myself and my daughters, even though the giving will probably open up more questions than I want to answer again. More questions than I want to feel again.
But if God is faithful once to comfort me in my sorrow, He will be faithful again. This kind of grief always makes me long for Heaven, which is sometimes a rare thing due to the ego-centric, short-sighted nature of my humanity. It is good to remember that this earthly place will never be able to completely satisfy. The lyrics of a Mercy Me song sum up my feelings well, “I’ve never been more homesick than now.”