I Can Only Imagine
There are times when I love to see conflict and hardcore drama in movies, but one movie offering right now at theatres offers something a bit different. It provides an inspirational uplift and hope.
The movie is “I Can Only Imagine,” and it shares the story of a popular Christian band, MercyMe, which by the way will be performing in the Twin Cities next week.
As for the movie, it’s all about inspiration and forgiveness. It is a powerful, tear-jerker story of redemption and reconciliation through Jesus Christ.
A new movie release tells the backstory of how a song came to exist. It’s not just any song, but the best-selling Christian contemporary song of all time. The song, which is based on a main piano track, was inspired by the death of Bart’s father and considers what it would be like in Heaven and to be standing before God.
With 2.5 million copies sold, it is the best-selling Christian single of all time, having been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA. As of this year, it is the only Christian song to reach that milestone.
Growing up in Texas, Bart Millard suffers extensive physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father Arthur. One day Bart’s mother decides she can’t take the abuse anymore and leaves both of them. Bart openly described his father as a monster and someone he hated.
When Arthur becomes terminally ill, he finds redemption by embracing his faith and rediscovering his love for his son. His father is dying from cancer, which Bart only finds out by stumbling across some paperwork, and Arthur has found the Lord.
Years later, Bart’s troubled childhood and mended relationship with his father inspires him to write the hit song, “I Can Only Imagine” as singer with the Christian band MercyMe.
Even though Bart loved music, Arthur made every attempt to persuade his son from chasing after his dreams. “Dreams don’t pay the bills,” Arthur tells his son.
What impressed me the most with the movie is how it promotes the theme of forgiveness, redemption and repentance that can be found in Jesus Christ. For me, it proved to be most appropriate to attend on Good Friday.
The Christian music producer sees potential in MercyMe before anyone else does, but success didn’t come right away for Bart. “Let your pain become your inspiration, and then you’ll have something people can believe it,” the producer told Bart.
Through Bart’s song, it gives Christians the words to express a love they find more powerful than any earthly romance: the anticipation they feel for the day when they will get the meet their heavenly father.
The song originated when Bart began writing the words “I can only imagine” on items when he was thinking about his father. Interestingly, it took him only 10 minutes to write the lyrics. But as someone pointed out to Bart in the movie, “You didn’t write this song in 10 minutes. It took a lifetime.”
“I Can Only Imagine” brings ultimate hope to many people, and it is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness.
In the broken world we live in, finding something filled with hope is a dose of reality we can all go in hot pursuit of bringing into our lives.