Written by Dagmar Morgan

It’s hard to capture exactly what the heart of worship is—an intangible expression of the work God has done or is doing in our midst. The new film I Can Only Imagine is a pure and joyful expression of the very heart of what we seek when we worship. Directed by the Erwin brothers, the film chronicles the story of the world-famous song “I Can Only Imagine” and its writer, Bart Millard of MercyMe.  

As viewers watch Bart’s journey to find his own voice, we learn the powerful and personal story of pain and redemption that he carries. The exhilaratingly real performance by Dennis Quaid cannot go unmentioned, as he brought into being Millard’s troubled father and his role in Bart’s life. 

Tracking with Millard and his band, we watch the unfolding of God’s plan and goodness. We also see that it is not always a straight line to dreams, healing and mended relationships.  

Other noted appearances feature Cloris Leachman as Millard’s grandmother, Priscilla Shirer as the “tough in all the right ways” teacher, and notably Trace Adkins who plays a not so easily convinced manager, giving a solid performance that makes a worthwhile addition to the storyline. 

This compelling and tear-jerking tale is not a cookie-cutter experience—the dancing montages between memory and modern day draw out the emotion felt not only by Bart, played by Michael J. Finely, but certainly by the audience as well. The music performances are raw and poignant.  

Watching this feels as much like a worship experience as it does a film; it pushes us to remember that the songs we sing are not just good words and great beats. These songs are the melody and music of God’s grace in our lives sung through us back to Him. The price of admission does not include tissues, you’ll need to bring your own.  

“I Can Only Imagine” is in theatres now.
See https://icanonlyimagine.com/canada or https://faithfilms.ca/i-can-only-imagine-march-16-2018/.