Steven Curtis Chapman's latest album is out and available now!
Steven Curtis Chapman’s latest album is out and available now!

There is a line in the song, “A Little More Time to Love” from Steven Curtis Chapman that says, “There’s a little boy looking at me in the mirror. He’s asking where the time has gone.” For many, it seems that this artist has been around forever, and yet he doesn’t look any older. I suspect that he is wearing glasses on his new album cover just to make him look his age. He is a grandfather for crying out loud.

Incredibly, Chapman has won 57 Dove Awards, five GRAMMYs, produced 47 No. 1 singles and has sold approximately 11 million albums, making him one of the most familiar music artists in any Christian household. Still, none of that matters compared to the last few years of trials that he has faced.

In 2008, Chapman lost his five-year-old daughter, Maria, in a tragic accident. It was an event that made the perpetually happy man question if he would ever be able to sing again. The very next year Chapman released, “Beauty Will Rise,” an album where every song related to the family’s grieving process of losing a child. Time has helped heal the wounds, but of course, not totally taken away. One song on Chapman’s new album just released, “The Glorious Unfolding,” speaks to this. “Michael and Maria” was written not only about Steven’s daughter, but also a friend’s son. The lyrics somber and sweet:

Michael and Maria, we can’t wait to see your faces
We already miss you more than words can say
I know we’re only separated by a thin veil
But it feels like we’re a million miles away

“The Glorious Unfolding” is Chapman’s 18th album and his first studio album of all-original material in seven years. It feels like two albums in one. This first half is upbeat, the second, a little more thoughtful. “Musically, I really wanted to find those ways to make something that felt very honest and true, and yet very fresh and relevant,” Chapman says about the album on his website

. “I felt like this had to be a little bit more exciting and energetic and I was ready to crank it up. It felt like this is the time to do that and celebrate. With this music, you will hopefully hear that and get a sense of the excitement and joy in this record.”

“Love Take Me Over” is by far the best song on the album and the most fun to listen to. It is so great to hear the joy in Steven’s voice once again. “Even though it’s in the guise of a very fun, up-tempo sing-along-at-the-top-of-your-lungs song, it’s a message and a lesson that I have continued to be in the process of learning,” Chapman says of the song. “I need to be filled with love so that I can be loving in the way I respond.”

This album is a highly personal one for Chapman. Not only is there a tribute to his daughter, but also to his grandmother (“See You in a Little While”) and a song dedicated to Mary Beth, his wife of 29 years. “Together” is a song more about a dedication to a marriage than it is a song about fluffy memories:

Here we stand, here we are
With all our wounds and battle scars
From all the storms and all the wars we’ve weathered together
We had no way of knowing when
We started way back there and then
How the road would twist and turn and bend
We just knew we belonged together

“Statistics show that 90% of marriages don’t survive the loss of a child. The fact that we are together celebrating 29 years of marriage is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and God’s grace,” says Chapman who didn’t play the song for his wife until it was completely finished. “I sat her down and played this for her as we held hands and wept together through this celebration of God’s faithfulness,” he adds, “I’m really hopeful that this song will encourage and minister to people in a deep way.”

If you are a Chapman fan, you will need to add this album to your collection. It a mixture of everything that makes this singer/songwriter great. It’s honest, raw, clever, powerful and even playful. It isn’t heavy. It is uplifting in a way only someone who has dealt with tragedy and loss can truly express it in words and be able to share hope to others where many would not be able to find any. The lyrics from the album’s title song say it best:

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart

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