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Friday, March 9, 2018

I Can Only Imagine

In 2002, a relatively unknown group called MercyMe raced up the Christian music charts with the release of "I Can Only Imagine". I remember hearing it for the first time. It gave me goosebumps.

Those were the growing up years for my kids. We'd spend Saturday at the pool, then come home and get ready for church that evening. Sunday mornings, we were almost always back at the pool.

The music played over the loudspeakers at the pool alternated between rock and country stations. I was okay with either (although I would have preferred listening to one of the Christian radio stations). One day, a rock station was on, and the song "I Can Only Imagine" came spilling out over the speakers. I was thrilled ... and surprised that a mainstream radio station would play a song so blatantly Christian. I mean, the word "Jesus" is sung throughout. The didn't just play once ... it played every time we were there that summer.

It's not often that Christian music is played so freely on mainstream media, but "I Can Only Imagine" was, and for good reason. It's a beautiful song, with a beautiful message, sung by a man with an incredible voice, and accompanied by amazing musicians.

A couple of days ago I heard that the movie "I Can Only Imagine" is going to be in theaters on March 16th. I looked it up. It's the story of Bart Millard, lead singer of MercyMe and writer of the song. The movie is about his abusive childhood and how that song came to fruition. I quickly got a group together and we ordered tickets. There are four of us going, and we got the last four seats in the theater together for the time slot we wanted. (Was God holding those seats for us?!!)

Without having yet seen the movie, I already know I want to own it, so I got online to see when it will be released. I didn't find out when I would be able to buy it, but I discovered a book by the same name and immediately ordered it.

I was anxious to get home yesterday because I knew my new book was waiting in my mailbox. I started reading it as soon as I got home. Three and a half hours later, I was done. I would have finished it sooner, but I had to stop a few times to go to the bathroom, get something to drink, or to think about what I'd read. Needless to say, it was a good book.

Books made into movies are almost always better than the movie itself. There is so much you can put in a book that you can't put in a film. I always prefer to read a book before I see the movie. If you know the whole story, a lot of what you see makes more sense because you know the emotion or actions behind a behavior or decision ... things you don't always get from the movie itself.

We go see the movie a week from today ... and I can't wait!!!

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