Don't change who you are. Be more of who you are - Sally Hogshead
I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard
I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard

I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard

Music gave me hope when I felt hopeless. Love when I felt unloved. A reason to embrace life when I was dying inside” – Bart Millard

A beautiful, contemporary worship song. A religious song of hope. An amazingly successful Christian song both in and out of religious circles. A movie. A memoir.

The last year has seen great losses for many. We’ve been hit by natural tragedies, a pandemic, political unrest and governmental scandals and abuses. In the midst of all of this, there is the loss of our loved ones. Like many, I found relief and catharsis in the song, “I Can Only Imagine.” I also found my way to the 2018 memoir of the same name, by Bart Millard of the group Mercy Me.

This book is quite a bit more than just the tale of one of the most successful Christian songs of all time. This is a book about life, abuse, loss, and redemption. The reader will meet Millard, the song’s author, and his family and closest friends. More importantly, the reader comes to grips with the pain and suffering that accompany this life.

Millard grew up in Texas with a father that was physically and verbally abusive. With a mother that left and a brother who had already moved on, leaving Millard to bear the brunt of his father’s anger. In later years, he described how it was actually worse when his father just didn’t care anymore and he would just come and go as if not having a parent. 

Across the years, Millard was blessed to have some very special friends and their families. These people, and his church, were used to shape Bart’s life to become more than just a victim…but also one who would help many more in the years to come. Towards the end of high school, Millard’s father was diagnosed with cancer and eventually accepted Christ and their relationship was restored.

The book shares much about the amazing events that would result in this song being written and eventually recorded. The song experienced incredible success in Christian and secular circles. Yet, the real inspiration is that across all this pain, God restored a family. Millard wrote that at the end, the man he had hated became the man he wanted to be. He says that in just five years, his father became the most godly man he knew. At the funeral, Millard’s grandmother said “I can only imagine what he must be seeing right now.”

Even as we suffer the loss of many in our lives, we can take solace in the thought that one day we will see each other again. We can take joy in knowing that one day we will be in the presence of our God with those we love. 

It’s the moment when humanity, is overcome by majesty, when grace is ushered in for good, and all our scars are understood.”  – The Hurt and the Healer – Mercy Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *