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Movie with a Message: I Can Only Imagine

Movie with a message is back! With an all-new exciting film. To update this segment of the website is one of the most challenging things I have to do for LTN. But I love movies, and it’s my passion. That is why it is a part of the LTN brand. And who knows, this segment might give birth to something more prominent in the future. Who else missed this segment of the website? Today’s movie of focus is titled—I Can Only Imagine. This title comes from the hit song by the same name, written and performed by the Christian rock band, MercyMe. The movie is about the lead singer’s (Bart Millard) journey to stardom if we might call it that.

Bart grew up in a small town. As a little boy, he witnessed his father abuse his mom. He also felt rejected by his father. Whenever his dad wasn’t in a good mood, he took it out on him or his mother. The little boy found solace in music and art. As he grew older, he took up his father’s dream to play football in high school, but after an accident, while playing, he hurt his legs and was told he would never be able to play football again. Of course, that devastated him, and he had to find another elective to make up his hours for school.

Music was the only option he had available. Although he didn’t plan to sing initially, his music director made him do it because she felt he had a fantastic voice. Fast forward years later, he joined a band, where he was their lead singer. They wrote and performed a lot of songs, but the big dogs in the record label companies, could not see the good in them. They told them, they were not good enough and should quit. Regardless of the small success, they had amassed. When they spewed those negative words, it brought Bart back to his childhood, because those were words his father would say to him.

His father was diagnosed with cancer, and during that period he forgave his father all that he had done to him and his mom while they were growing up. He and his father grew close, towards the end of his father’s life. The father had also become a Christian. He was sorry for all the atrocities he committed during his life. On his deathbed, he gave his son access to his life insurance policy. So Bart could focus entirely on music and not worry about finances.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel

After his father’s passing, Bart was so distraught. He wrote a song titled: I can only imagine. The song talks about what heaven would be like when we eventually get there. Would we see God’s face? Would we sing or dance for Him? Would we see our loved ones again? It was a very uplifting song that it caught the attention of an established singer at that time, Amy Grant. She was so moved by the song and proceeded to purchase it. On the day she was supposed to perform the song live, she was compelled to let Bart Millard, sing the song instead.

Bart was in the audience and made his way to the stage. That day he sang his heart out, and I can only imagine, became an instant hit. Amy Grant was kind enough to give the song back. The day Bart Millard received his final check from the life insurance company, I can only imagine, became the number one hit song to top the Christian Charts. The song gained recognition on Christian and mainstream radio.

Lessons Learned

We are all gifted by God, for a reason: Bart knew he loved music from when he was a little child. And he has used that gift to bless millions of people around the world. MercyMe has released hit after hit, with one of my favorites being is Even If. I doubt if they knew when they started, that a lady from Nigeria would one day write a review for a movie about them.

Be faithful with little: I can only imagine that Bart and his bandmates didn’t know how big they would become in the beginning. Even when they were told by the record label executives, that they weren’t good enough, they kept pushing. When you are faithful with little, then God would make you ruler over much. There are a lot of people who just want to hit it big from the beginning. They are so discontent with what they have, and they just want to hit the next deal that would make them millions. But that is not how life operates. God set it up in such a way, that if you work hard, stay the course, then when you get blessed, you would be able to handle the success that comes with it. And you will be much more appreciative.

Forgive even if you feel like they don’t deserve it: Forgiveness is one of the key elements in life that we have to get used to. People will always mess up; you too will mess up in the eyes of someone else. We must learn to practice forgiveness so we won’t go around with hurt and baggage. Bart had to learn to forgive his father, and his father also had to learn to forgive himself, for all the wrong he caused. So when he passed eventually, he went in peace.

This movie was released in March 2018 and went ahead to gross $85 million, worldwide, with just an initial budget of $7 million. This became the third highest grossing music biopic of all time. Which is quite successful for a Christian movie. And goes ahead to show that all stories are relatable if told really well. The movie was directed by The Erwin Brothers (who have Mom’s day out and Woodlawn to their credit), and distributed by Lionsgate. MercyMe has won eight Dove awards and has had countless Grammy nominations. The band formed in 1994, is still doing amazingly well, 24 years later.

The movie is available on DVD (anywhere DVDs are sold), DIRECT TV (For US viewers) and on DSTV Box Office, if you are in Africa.

Make sure you watch the movie and find out why it is a Movie with a Message. Hope you enjoyed this little snippet, and are encouraged to follow your dreams no matter what. Remember to comment, like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update.

Enjoy the music video (I Can Only Imagine) below

Video Cred: MercyMe's Youtube Account

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