September 19th, 2010
11:41 AM ET
The family of Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman has been very open about the pain they have felt since the death of Maria Sue Chapman two years ago.
The 5-year-old was accidentally struck by a SUV driven by one of her brothers, in the family's driveway in May 2008. The family has shared their journey of grief with their fans through media interviews.
Steven Curtis Chapman also sang of his pain and his hope for the future in his most recent album, "Beauty Will Rise," and his wife, Mary Beth, has written a book, "Choosing to See," in which she talked about the challenges of her life, including Maria Sue's passing.
The concerts in part will help the family continue healing, they said.
"We're still learning to live this new normal of life," Steven Curtis Chapman said just before the tour began last week. "There are days that we're doing really good and we feel like we are getting wind in our sails. And then days, seasons, when it just hits you again and kind of takes you back."
Mary Beth has always been behind the scenes, but she feels like this is an important part of being a steward of the story, he said.
She'll have a very informal session interacting with the audience, he said.
She's never been one to step into the spotlight of her famous husband, never been one who wanted a celebrity lifestyle. She has done some appearances on her book tour, but having her husband and sons there will make the concerts easier on everyone, Steven Curtis Chapman said.
"There's no doubt that us as a family standing on stage together saying that we're trusting in the Lord and we trust in God, that he is doing something out of this that is going to be good and healing and helpful in the lives of other people - and that's part of the healing process for us."
Caleb Chapman said that in rehearsals it was obvious that the shows were going to be emotionally charged. But the family wants to reflect on the positives of bringing Maria Sue into their lives and to show the goodness of God's promise for life in Heaven.
"We really want this to be more about the hope and the joy that we found through this suffering," he said. "We really want to encourage people."
Caleb, the front man and lead guitarist for a four-piece band called "Caleb," will open the show, the first time his group has opened for his dad. He said fans of Steven Curtis Chapman should expect a different sound than his father. He plays in a young rock band he hopes "won't be too loud," he said with a laugh.
But that's not to say that his Dad hasn't influenced him. It's more in the craft of being a musician, he said. By watching his father through the years he learned the trade and how to write songs.
"He plays a huge role in my music, whether you hear it or not," Caleb Chapman said. They are still working out whether father will join sons for a number in the opening act, Caleb said (Caleb and Will Chapman are also a part of Chapman's backing band).
Caleb will play songs from independently produced EPs, including a recently released single "We Will Wait."
The tour runs through late November. If you are going to attend you can request a song through Steven Curtis Chapman's tour page. Just make sure you request a song that he actually sang.
"Sometimes people say, 'We want to hear you sing that 'Friends' song of yours. We love that one,'" he said. "Well, that's Michael W. Smith ... but I'll sing it if you want me to."
When he does sing one of his most popular songs, "Cinderella," he says he'll take comfort in knowing somewhere Maria Sue is listening.
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