"I Can Only Imagine" - it's the song that brings ultimate hope to so many ... often in the midst of life's most challenging moments.
Amazingly, the song was written in mere minutes by MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. But in reality, those lyrics took a lifetime to craft.
Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn't easy for Bart. He leaned into an active imagination and his love of music as escapes from a troubled home life. As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father. But a career-ending injury - combined with the vision of a teacher who saw unlimited potential - set Bart on a musical pathway.
Chasing a dream while running from broken relationships with his father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart, Bart hit the road in an old, decrepit tour bus with his new band: MercyMe - named for his grandmother's favorite expression. With the guidance of a grizzled music-industry insider, the band began a journey none of them could ever have imagined.
A gripping reminder of the power of forgiveness, "I Can Only Imagine" illustrates that no one is ever too far from God's love - or from an eternal home in Heaven.
The song was the inspiration for the new feature film, "I Can Only Imagine," which hit theaters today.
"I Can Only Imagine" features an all-star cast: Golden-Globe nominee Dennis Quaid, Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman, Platinum-selling country music legend Trace Adkins, author and actress Priscilla Shirer ("War Room"), Madeline Carroll ("Mr. Poppers Penguins") and Broadway's J. Michael Finley ("Les Miserables").
The film brings to life the true story behind the song of ultimate hope, "I Can Only Imagine."
It was the transformed relationship with his troubled father that inspired Bart to write what is now the most-played radio single in Christian music history.