Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I Can Only Imagine


Rated PG
1 hour 50 minutes
Starring: J. Michael Finley, Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, Cloris Leachman

I Can Only Imagine was the highest selling Christian single and has sold more than 2.5 million albums.  It’s one of those rare songs that crossed over from the Christian music charts into the Billboard, Country, and the Top 40 charts.  There was always a story behind this beautiful song and it has finally been told.

 J. Michael Finley, plays Bart Millard, the lead singer of the group MercyMe.  This is his story of dealing with an abusive father all his life and a mom who left him with his dad.  It’s also about how he worked to make his dad proud of him in every way but never could and the results usually ended with a beating.  He was on a successful ride in high school as a football player until an injury ended his college dreams.  With nothing else to do – he turned to a school play and found he had singing abilities.  The story takes off from there as we see him getting together with his friends and forming the Christian group MercyMe.

 But Bart’s story is one of forgiveness.  After years of having no contact with his dad, he finally deals with his past and goes back to confront him.  What he finds is a broken man who is dying of cancer.  A man that knows he was a monster.  All he wants to do is to make amends to his son who wants nothing to do with him.  But through forgiveness, Bart sees his father in a different light and after he passes away, all he can do is “imagine” him in Heaven and what that must be like for his dad to meet Jesus face to face. 

This movie is powerful and so is the song that has become an anthem for so many people.  

Library Link: I Can Only Imagine (DVD)


I Can Only Imagine

Rated PG
1 hour 50 minutes
Starring: J. Michael Finley, Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, Cloris Leachman

Many times, when I start watching a movie, I end up trying to do other things at the same time and get distracted enough that I realize I’m not even watching the movie anymore.  With this one, I was all in from the start!  It grabbed me and didn’t let go.  I’m sure most songs have a story behind them, but somehow, this felt like you were almost there for the entire process of why “I Can Only Imagine” was written and the full meaning behind it.  I feel like music is one of the most powerful ways to convey thoughts and emotions, so maybe that was part of it for me, too.  I haven’t listened to MercyMe very much, but I had heard this song.  Like Christy said, it crossed all different kinds of music and was played by all kinds of stations.  This was a very powerful story that I connected with on many different levels and I haven’t heard anyone that hasn’t liked it.  There was determination on Bart’s part, forgiveness in many areas, and ultimately coming to a place of peace and acceptance with everything that had happened in the family member’s lives.  I’ll never be able to hear this song again without thinking of this film.  If you are looking for a “sad” feel-good movie, this is it!

Library Link: I Can Only Imagine (DVD)