Christina Grimmie’s earthly voice ended abruptly, shockingly, this past Friday evening. She was signing autographs after a performance when a man shot her to death. Christina was perhaps the last person you would expect to be the target of a vicious gunman.
Christina radiated purity and joy as she sang. Millions followed her on you tube where she recorded countless covers. Her presentations were made all the more powerful by their simplicity. Without any flashy backgrounds or special effects, her love of music quickly drew you in and made you a fan. You saw Christina singing and playing her keyboard with passion and grace against the background of images of the video games she loved to play.
She was outspoken about her faith in Christ. She was a pleasant, decent, engaging young woman of twenty-two with nowhere to go but up. Just to see her was refreshing and up-lifting. Then she was gone.
Ultimately, no one but the God that Christina loved and still loves knows the answer. But Christina herself has provided at least a partial answer. Three years ago, when she was nineteen, she tweeted this:
Sometimes God allows terrible things to happen in your life and you don’t know why. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trusting Him.
— Christina Grimmie
Her tweet was given against the background of her mother’s battle with breast cancer. Extraordinary for a nineteen-year-old. In these few words she brings balance and clarity to her own tragic death. Yes, there is ugliness and sin in our world. But with an even bigger YES, God is to be trusted above all that may happen here. My grief this night is not for Christina. She now knows the awesome wonder of being with her savior. Now her music resonates in the heavenly realms as she sings her savior’s praises with more joy than ever before. Christina is now blessed beyond words. Don’t grieve for her. She would want you to know that. Grieve for what was lost here on earth. Grieve for a world that could not tolerate the genuine wonder that was Christina Grimmie. But don’t end with grief. End with joy. End with the love of the great savior that Christina loved.
Tears came yesterday as I watched her sing In Christ Alone in her small studio. Through her voice the words of truth rang clear, pure and strong:
till he returns or calls me home,
here in the power of Christ I stand.