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I Can Only Imagine

A Song and Movie by Mercy Me

By Jim GavenPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Official Music Video - The Movie Session

There are some moments in life that are just ingrained in your memory. It could be the birth of a child, a wedding, a graduation, the first time you buy a car or a house, a specific concert, the first rollercoaster you've ever been on, or your first plane ride. Or, maybe it's a small, seemingly insignificant conversation you had with a perfect stranger that continually comes back to your mind. The list could go on and on with different kinds of situations, experiences, and events that have a long-lasting impact on you.

For me, I will always have a special places in my heart for the song and movie 'I Can Only Imagine'. Penned by Bart Millard of the band, Mercy Me, this intimate, yet powerful and inspirational song hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I heard it, and every other time since. It is a song that gives me the goosebumps, the chills, if you will. And, whenever a song does that to me, I know it's a special thing because it happens very few and far between. It's close to perfection in songwriting as far as I'm concerned. Soaring vocals mixed with the right chords and musical melodies on various real instruments (guitar, drums, piano, strings) telling a great hopeful story through and about God and Heaven. Can you really beat it? What will it be like when we pass on from this Earth? It's a pretty heavy subject, and not one people like to talk about since it is uncomfortable. Be it fear of the unknown or fear of not existing in physical form anymore, it is a scary thing to ponder and reckon with over the course of life. Still, it is something we need to grapple with at one point or another--our own mortality. One day, we will all meet our maker. What will we do? What will we say? Will we stand in awe? What will it be like overall? These rhetorical yet poignant questions are begging to be answered. The crazy thing is that no one really knows for sure. We'll find out for sure after we take our last breath.

There's a beauty to the morbidity, and the comfort in knowing none of us are alone in this journey. There is a 100% chance that I will die, that you will die, and that everyone we love will die. But, we don't have to be stressed out, full of anxiety, or overly worried because of it. Life can be and is a wonderful adventure. Every day we wake up, we have the opportunity to give it another try. We have the ability to become better versions of ourselves. We get the chance to follow our dreams and pursue our passions. All it takes is the gumption to take a risk, some smart and hard work, and a little bit of faith in yourself and a higher power to make it all come together. Even though it sounds simple, it is hardly easy. We are tested every day in some way, shape, or form, and it is within our control to react positively or negatively to whatever life throws our way. Many things are out of our control, but our reactions to situations are up to us.

Why am I bringing all of this up? Because the song, I Can Only Imagine, is a reminder of the hope we can bring to the table each and every day. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, we can be that bright shining spot in everyone's paths we cross. In doing so, it makes for a great day today and an even better one tomorrow. It's a positive feedback loop to sustain us and those around us for the long haul--in this life and beyond. The movie, with the same title, is even more powerful than the song on its own as well. Being a fan of the band's music for a few years, I didn't know the back-story behind any of their songs. That most certainly includes this one. Over the course of nearly 2 hours, I learned that and then some. I learned that Bart is trying to find his place in the world. I learned that he had a physically and verbally abusive father. I learned that he fell in love with a woman and with music. I learned that as tough as it is to lose someone, we have to be thankful for the time we have with them. I learned that he wanted to make a difference in the world and take a negative situation and flip it into a positive one through prayer, works, music, and God. And, I learned that he wrote the song in 10 minutes. However, it was really being written over the course of his life, and he happened to capture the essence of what he was feeling and thinking for all those years in those 10 amazing minutes.

You may be asking yourself, 'Can a song and a movie really do this?' My answer to you would be a resounding, 'YES'! If we are open to letting words and actions speak to us like they never have before, then, YES! If we are open to allowing ourselves be swept away by beautiful melodies and a compelling story, then, YES! If we are open to the possibility of faith, hope, and love in our lives, then, YES!

Inspiring. Encouraging. Hopeful. These are the 3 words I would use to describe the movie and the song. It was definitely worth my time, and something I can go back to in moments of doubt, confusion, uncertainty, stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. Both movie and song are timeless, and this is something most songwriters and filmmakers strive for their entire careers. Some are able to achieve it, and when they do, it is magical, dare I say, miraculous.

Thank you for writing such a wonderful piece of music that speaks to the heart, the soul, and the mind.


About the Creator

Jim Gaven

My mission is to write inspirational stories that make you feel good about yourself, put a smile on your face, and think of things in a different way.

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