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I love music … I’ve sung all my life, took piano lessons and dance lessons, with a dream of one day being on Broadway.  Because of my natural love for all things music, I’ve been a long-time fan of the song,  “I Can Only Imagine,” since it was written in 1999 by Bart Millard of MercyMe.  You know the words:

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When you face is before me …


The song skyrocketed to the top of the charts making it the most-played Christian single in history.  Now the unknown story of how the song came to be written has been made into a movie.  I haven’t seen it yet, but plan to soon.

What makes this song/movie so intriguing is all it took for Bart Millard, the writer and composer, to first write the song, then what happened as the movie was being made.  The story of the song/movie centers on the complex father/son relationship between Bart and his father, Arthur, who dies when Bart is 18.  The transformation that occurred is what led to creation of the song.  I’m not going to divulge everything — only that it’s a gripping story of redemption and forgiveness.  But I will tell you what happened in Dennis Quaid’s life, the actor who portrayed Arthur Millard in the movie.

Dennis Quaid has been a Hollywood actor for decades, as well as a musician.  He’s seen his share of rough times with drug and alcohol addiction resulting in several broken relationships.  He was born in Houston, Texas, where his mother made sure he attended the local Baptist church.  His life certainly took some twists and turns, but for more than 10 years he has been seeking true meaning in his life.  When asked what his favorite book is, Dennis will readily say “the Bible.”  The movie must have had an impact on Dennis’ life, because he wrote and released a new song this week, “On My Way to Heaven.”

Quaid is open about his faith, explaining that though both he and his brother—fellow actor Randy Quaid—were baptized as children, he really started searching for God while in his 20s.  In an interview with BeliefNet, he states: “I went around the world, actually, in my late 20s, and the question I had, as I went around the world was, ‘Who is God?’ I became a seeker, really. So I came back, and I read the Bible cover-to-cover. For me, it’s Jesus. How simple it is. There really is redemption in that.”

“I’ve had struggles and often see myself as the prodigal son.  The thing is no matter what, the door is always open to the Lord. All one has to do is open your heart and ask, and he’ll be there. It’s certainly been a comfort in my life.” 

“I want my son to know about Jesus and Jesus’ life, why Jesus came here, why he was on earth. He came here and died for our sins. He came here to teach us how to live. He’s an example to all of us-it seems like no matter how hard we try, even the best of us Christians, we can’t come close, we fall short of living our life in that perfect way that he did. But it’s all about keeping your eye on that.”


Christ’s message is simple – we don’t have to “do” anything – just believe.  We humans make it so complicated.  Thank you, Lord!


Psalm 9:10       “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

Tagged: Bart Millard, Dennis Quaid, forgiveness, God at work, I Can Only Imagine, redemption, transformation

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