Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hearts go out

On Friday night, we played a fun, fantastic show in Fredricksburg, VA.  The show was used as a fundraiser for the Christian school there and in return we had over 900 kids and parents show up to support the school.  All profits went to the school...so it was really cool to help out the school.

I was struggling with sickness all week, but we went out and rocked it!  And the crowd was INCREDIBLE.  It hadn't been since Blake performing on tour that I'd heard so many little girls scream that loud.  It was crazy.  And the boys put on a great show.  My voice was cracking in and out, but it's nice to have the band steady behind me.

It was a great show.  

After the show, about 400 people stuck around for autographs and pictures.  I was wasted.  I went back to our green room to get some rest before we packed up.  As I sat in the little conference room that was acting as our green room, I heard sobs and whimpers coming from what sounded like teenage girls down the hall.

I wandered down to see if whoever was crying was okay.  As I asked, an adult came up and whispered that a senior girl was driving to the concert and had been in a two-car accident and was killed instantly.

My world nearly caved in.  I can not imagine what that family and church and school are going through.  My heart breaks with every thought for the family.  

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in control.  But sometimes it's hard to reconcile how God is okay with taking a girl so full of promise, so great by all accounts.  It echoes the sentiments we all felt with Amanda leaving us far too early.  I don't understand it.  

Call it naivety.  Call it faith.  But I choose to believe that God is in control, somehow.  I don't think God was surprised by this, nor do I feel He finds pleasure in our pain.  Yet, he uses our pain to build our faith and His kingdom.

But sometimes I can't help but wonder why.

But, ultimately, my questions are irrelevant.  My deeper thoughts on God and faith mean nothing.  All that matters is that a family is hurting.  Deeply.  And my heart...I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say, our hearts...go out to them.

Please keep the family and friends in prayer.

Her name was Kelsey Orndorff.


Badpacifist said...

His ways aren't our ways. Life never seems "fair". There is a reason I wake up every morning and give thanks for what I have been given. Life can change......in a moment.

Carrie said...

I hate that so many great people have to leave us early. It's especially hard on those who know someone who is young and just about to graduate and enter into the adult world. It's sad to lose someone regardless, but car crashes claim the lives of so many people before their time. The article I read about her was just so sad. I don't really know what else to say. My heart definitely goes out to this family.

risalea said...

I don't believe God takes people. However, I do think He can take a tragedy like this and cause good to come from it. One example I can think of is a young man from the local high school who was killed in a car accident a few years ago. He wasn't wearing a seat belt, and the subsequent campaign, supported by his parents, called "Click it for Kyle" changed the driving habits of a lot of teenagers.

My heart goes out to Kelsey's family and friends. A sudden death is difficult...and one of someone so young is unthinkable. As I said earlier, it's every parent's nightmare.

God doesn't promise that life on this earth will be trouble or tragedy free, but He does promise eternal life for those who follow His word, and I know that promise is what will bring peace and comfort to Kelsey's family in the coming days. Prayers for all.

robyn said...
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robyn said...


Your sensitivity to others personal heartbreaks, your true compassion and empathy and ability to pass that feeling on through your words, in song as well as this blog is amazing. I am truly feeling it myself and am praying for that family . I don't understand these things either, but God's higher plan for us cannot be explained away so easily in this world. It's so hard to think such painful things can be endured. My sister-in-law's oldest son (by a previous marriage) was killed in an awful accident at the age of 14. We were best friends for many years before she married my brother and I watched Kendall grow up. His death rendered her helpless for a long time. She finally came to accept it but it left such a hole in her, as I'm sure it does all parents in that situation. I guess the only solace is to know they are with Jesus.

BullysE said...

Chris, what a thoughtful, beautiful post. (hugs) It had to be really hard for you, after the success of the concert itself to find a tragedy happened like that. The dichotomy of something so bad happening, on the heels of something so good, and life-affirming!

But remember, what you shared with the people in attendance WAS life affirming. You rose to your own personal challenge, and offered them the best part of you--as well as some Light from a source maybe they really were needing. Even the meet and greet, which must be fatiguing in the best of times, it gives the people there so much!

Our prayers are with the family of the girl, of course. Such a loss cannot be comprehended...and Robyn above me here put it all very very well, IMO. I have seen in big and little ways, how God has turned good things from bad, so I have to hope that somehow, there's a plan here as well. If nothing else, the loss of young bright things like our Amanda(who with the upcoming HSM3 I am thinking about so much) keeps our hearts compassionate, and full of love.

Thanks Chris, for taking the time to really care. It makes all the difference.

Cathy Storms said...

Chris~What a beautiful post. I can't even imagine what that family is going through. My heart is breaking for Kelsey's family and friends.
My thoughts and prayers are with Kelsey's family and friends.

rosalee said...

It's always very sad when anyone leaves this world, but especially a young person. I have known of many instances on Long Island of 17year olds in car crashes - usually from a combination of dangerous roads and inexperience in driving. A former co-worker of mine lost his son that way.

I feel for the family and her friends and hope that their grief, but not her memory, will diminish in time.

DJ in AL said...


You never "go out on a limb" when speaking for us, you know by now our hearts align with yours.

Robyn said it well when she spoke about the sensitivity of your heart. If it were not for you, none of us would know to pray for her family, and we will of course pray.

I have struggled like you with deaths like these, I still do. While I too believe that God is in control I do not understand why such youth and innocence are torn from us seemingly too soon. We are taught to believe that they are in a much better place than this earth. If we were not to believe this, it would be hard to get up and go on every day wouldn't it?

I understand your heart on this one buddy, and wish I could pull a pearl of wisdom out that would make you feel better, I just don't have it. What I do have is hope that tomorrow will be better and the day after that better still, and somewhere along the way we will get closer to God and come nearer to understanding what it is we are meant to understand from deaths like this.

Hang in there dude, I think the road is taking it's toll on you. I know you have committments, but take a break and go see Sarah. You need some love.

Sending you some love from DJ in AL!

Anonymous said...

I just got done reading Job. God giving permission for the Devil to test Job. In that test, Job's family was taken from him. I thought it was so unfair (in my small mind) to kill a family to test someone's faith. I don't question God but can't understand his works sometimes. God is in control and we are all play a part in his plan, fair or not.

Hischild said...

This was a beautiful, heartfelt post, Chris. I'm always SO sorry to hear of young people especially dying.
Several years ago we were blessed to have Elizabeth Elliot speak at our church. One thing she said her husband Jim said has stuck w/me: "Who am I to demand that God populate heaven with only old people?" Coming from a man who lost his life relatively young, that is quite a statement.

His ways ARE higher.

chamilton said...

I have been thinking of you and this family since the Twitter came through on my phone. i have a teen age son and I got a call earlier in the summer from emergency medical saying that my child had been in a car wreck. I have never been so scared in my life. Thank God my son was not injured in the accident but as a parent of a teen I have thought of that family everyday since.
Chris I thought that you might have taken this hard and so you are are also in my thoughts and prayers. You have an amazing life, but it seems to take alot of sacrifice on not just your part but your loved ones too. I hope that you get to go home today and rest, see your wife and friends and regroup. Take care and hello to everybody.


Clintster said...

Chris, we will be lifting Kelsey's family in prayer. Thank you for opening up your heart and sharing with us. This is one thing that I truly admire about you. You have a heart and compassion for people.

badpacifist, I have your number now if I ever need a plumber. Sorry I haven't posted much since the Kansas City concerts. Just been busy. I hope everyone has a blessed day.

risalea said...

In thinking about Kelsey today, and inevitably our Amanda, it is so affirming to know that even though these young ladies left this earth far sooner than their friends and families were ready for, they both made such a positive impact on this world and those around them. Don't you know the Lord greeted them both with "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Hearts of loved ones left behind are not so easily mended. I know Tammy still struggles with her grief. The Lord wants us to give comfort to each other, and that's how I think He is using Chris and his music to reach out to others in a powerful way, and even this blog. I hope that doesn't sound too sappy, but that's how I feel about it. Chris, we can see how this tragedy has deeply affected you and I hope you can feel our love and support for you right now.
2 Corinthians 1:4-
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Cathy Storms said...

I have been thinking of nothing else today but Kelsey's family and Amanda also. My son's first girlfriend was killed in a tragic car accident a few years ago. I remember how hard it was for her family and for my son.

Chris, I also can tell how deeply this touched you. And as Risa said, I hope you can feel our love. This blog has become so much more than just a blog. It is a place where we can all come together and give strength when it is needed. Thank you Chris for that.

I hope you get home soon and get some well deserved rest before you head out again. Give Sarah hugs from all of us. That way you can hug her more and just tell her it's from us...

Audra said...

It is always hard to deal with the loss of anyone but especially someone who has their life ahead of them still. I know that God is in control and that this was not a surprise and I don't think he took her. I do feel strongly that our purpose in this life may not always be one on this Earth and that her being called home was because God had a much bigger plan for this young lady and He needed her with him to accomplish it. While we may never understand it and we may never be ok with it, one day we will find out His master plan and we will all be awestruck. My heart and prayers go out to her family and friends who are left to deal with the loss of this young lady.

DJ in AL said...


You've been on my mind today, and on the minds of the blogger girls, we worry about you, you know.

So on behalf of the blogger girls and all of our other fro patro buddies, core group and newbies, I'm sending you a virtual hug to you wherever you are tonight. I hope you are feeling better, have talked to Sarah and can feel the love coming your way from your devoted and most-loyal fans!

We love ya dude, as crazy as that sounds, it's true.


Cathy Storms said...

DJ just said it all.

Caetie said...

I will pray. Thats all I can do.
So I will do just that.

Brade said...

thanks for sharing that with us, Christ. Dang.... I know from time to time I tell myself "Today might be it," especially when I get in a car or a plane. It does me well to prepare myself like that from time to time. We don't know how long we'll be here, and it never feels good to hear a story like Kelsey's. The only thing I can offer is what I've turned to so many times before, that is Romans 8:

Deb in TN said...

Ditto on what everyone has said here...I do feel for the family and friends left behind for now and will ask that they be comforted as they come to accept this reality as part of their lives now...

And Chris, you probably were shaken inside a bit and wondering because you are a sensitive soul with a tender, loving heart....This may be another part of a lesson for you or the family or whomever...we may never know, but I'm a firm believer in that we are all where we are supposed to be at any given time and for a given purpose....I'm sorry you had to go through that but am glad that you were able to be there then and now for Kelsey's friends and family....and as others here have said, you know all our hearts here are intertwined with one another....where one goes, the others follow...

Have a safe trip back home, get well, get some rest and feel better soon....you are loved.

Badpacifist said...

I am so excited! I just received my Running Back to You sheet music book, piano/vocal/guitar. In my case that means two out of three because PETA would think I was abusing the neighbors beagle if I tried the vocal part. The cool part is there is a 12 x 9 inch photo of some curly haired guy's mug on the front which helps decorate my Sligh Shrine,(ideas for Carmen!) just kidding. What a cool way for us to share a piece of the Sligh!

risalea said...

Randy, did you see the link to the karaoke version on the previous blog that Rosalee put up? Maybe you could practice your vocals with that one! : )

We expect a full rendition next year at the picnic!

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm excited cause I just ordered a new camera...hoping for some great shots in AL! (oh, wait, if DJ and I will be in those, that's just a given, right? LOL)

Y'all take care.

DJ in AL said...

You got that right Risa!

One week to Risa's invasion of Alabama! Yahoo!


rosalee said...

Hey Randy -
What key did they publish "Empty Me" in?

In the "old days", if you had vinyl records or cassettes in the stereo version, it was often easy to just turn down one channel to erase the lead vocal and sing along to the remaining orchestration and vocals coming out of the other channel/speaker. I remember doing this with Beatles tunes, such as "Sgt. Pepper", "We Can Work It Out", and "You Won't See Me".

Nowadays, with songs on CDs remastered and remixed, you don't get that separation of the vocals from the instruments any more.
So if you have your old Beatles recordings, you can find some songs to do karaoke style pretty easily.

Here's one example:

Or try Youtube, where if you search on "Beatles Backing Track" you will find some Beatles tracks -some authentic and some not(see user DaffyBeatle, and user backingmusic), but you can sing to either. Also a search under "Beatles Karaoke" will get you other titles, often manufactured (user karraokee).

Anonymous said...

Hey all! I am leaving this comment in hopes that any generous Chris Sligh fans who went to the Ledyard Fair show today and videotaped it might have also videotaped Diana's set too. If so would you consider posting it on YouTube if you also post Sligh's set? It doesn't appear anybody from Diana's site who went videotaped her set so we are reaching out to our friends here and at Justin's site hoping for some help.

Thanks all! :)

risalea said...
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risalea said...

I finally got the pictures that Carol had on her camera from Moore. Some are similar to what I put up earlier, but she got some good stage shots of Chris and the guys.


DJ in AL said...

Dude, finally! I'm so glad! Rest up, get healthy, see your girl and get ready to come to Sylacauga and kick some booty! (musically speaking of course!

Safe trip home!


risalea said...

Enjoy your time off and I still say, bring Sarah to Sylacauga! Give her a hug from us.

Oh, and I am mailing a CD to the Huckabees tomorrow. I doubt I'll catch Mike at home...he's now a Fox contributor and is constantly on the road, but I think I can catch Janet. And I'm sending one to the Palins with a suggestion that Chris would make an awesome addition to one of the inaugural events. Someone else get one to Obama. We've got to cover all the bases, just in case.
: )

Nicholas said...

It is really sad when someone's life is taken so suddenly like that, especially in a car crash. I myself am a 17 year old new driver and I must constantly remind myself that while god is with me, it is up to me to resist the temptation of getting distracted while driving, because the sad truth is, in a moment life on Earth can come to an abrupt end.

Cathy Storms said...

Get some well deserved rest. You deserve it. Safe travels.

DJ in AL said...


You should TOTALLY bring Sarah Saturday, it's not far from Nashville!


Anonymous said...

Chris -

I am a student at Fredericksburg Christain High where you were. I wanted to update you on how we are doing as a school. This school year is going to be tough with the loss of a great friend, a great servant for Christ, and a great person. Kelsey was always willing to do whatever it took to further Christ's Kingdom. She is up in heaven kneeling at the feet of her Creator as we speak, singing praises to Him. Nothing would ever make her want to come back to this world. We are coming together as a school, and you can really tell that the "bonding" has formed. We are a huge family and this loss has filled us. We have taken the family in as our own, and they are also knowing as hard as it is, that God had a purpose in this tragedy and that it was his timing for Kelsey to go to be with Him!
Thank you for your post!

In Christ,


risalea said...

Drew, thank you for sharing that, and what a wonderful group of kids to help each other and Kelsey's family through this very difficult time.

DJ in AL said...


It really helped to hear things from your perspective, thank you for sharing it with us!


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
Kelsey was my best friend and we had been best friends since i was 6 and she was 5. She was such a happy person and i guess when something like this happens, all we can do is rely on God to know what He is doing. I just wanted you to know that i had talked to Kels the day before she died and she was sooooo excited about your concert! She couldnt wait! she was a huge fan!
I know about the concert you are having in Culpeper in Kelsey's honor and i just wanted to thank you sooo much for that! We are all going through the healing process and i think this concert will help alot! Thanks again and God Bless you!