“I Can Only Imagine” exceeded expectations when it raked in a total of $83 million in theaters back in March. Exceeding expectations yet again, “I Can Only Imagine” has become the #1 selling DVD in America. It was released to DVD, Blu-ray combo pack, and On Demand June 12th and digitally on June 5th.
The film is based on the true story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of the Christian band MercyMe, and centers around Bart’s tumultuous relationship with his dad.
For years, Bart’s dad was physically and verbally abusive to him and his brother. To escape his troubled home life and a broken romantic relationship, he turned to music by joining the band MercyMe and hitting the road.
While on the road, God works on Bart’s heart, inspiring him to write the song “I Can Only Imagine,” which quickly becomes a hit playing on Christian radio stations all over the country.
In what could only have been orchestrated by God, it is this very song that eventually leads Bart’s own father to the Lord.
His dad prayed, read the Bible, and placed photos and concert news clippings of his son around the house. He had received God’s forgiveness, but to make things right with his son, he needed Bart’s forgiveness as well. Bart did not accept any of his gestures at first. It was hard to believe and accept that his dad had changed.
Only when he finds out that his dad has pancreatic cancer does he realized he only has one chance to make amends. If he didn’t forgive his dad, he would die without them ever making things right. That was something Bart did not want to live with.
I don’t want to spoil the whole movie, but through the transformational Grace that comes from accepting Christ as Savior, Bart’s relationship with his father is miraculously healed.
But God’s work didn’t end there. The song also helps Bart to restore the broken romantic relationship that he lost in his youth.
Bart realizes that the young woman he left was the love of his life. Earlier, before becoming a musician and before God worked on his heart, he hadn’t yet dealt with his past. This caused him to hurt her by pushing her away, then leaving her. He tries to apologize, but it was difficult for her to accept — just as it was difficult for him to accept his father’s apology.
But once she sees him perform the song, God changes her heart too, and she forgives him.
It is a powerful, inspiring story that proves that no one is beyond God’s love, forgiveness or redemption — and no one is without need of God’s love, forgiveness or redemption — and that’s why “I Can Only Imagine” was a hit at the box office and is now the #1 selling DVD in America.
The message of this movie has resonated with so many audiences. It’s a story that many people, both Christian and non-Christian, can relate to. And that’s also why the song itself was a hit. It proves that God can reach the hearts and minds of even those we think are beyond redemption.
That’s why it’s important to share your testimony with others. God can use your testimony to be the very thing that sets someone else free. Bart Millard’s testimony was so inspiring that it had to be made into a movie.
The song itself wasn’t just a hit on Christian radio, it was a hit on secular radio stations too. It topped both Christian and mainstream music charts, so it makes sense that the movie did the same thing.
It’s a sign to Hollywood that it is time for a change. People are tired of the typical Hollywood movies. The difference between “I Can Only Imagine” and other true-life movies is the power that God has to change someone.
God can forgive you, no matter what you have done. He can restore relationships, no matter how broken they are. He can help you forgive, no matter how much you are hurt.
The DVD features three hours of extras, including seven deleted scenes and seven in-depth featurettes. The special features include: Casting I Can Only Imagine, Dennis Quaid: On My Way to Heaven, Imagine Forgiveness with Bart Millard, and MercyMe: The Early Days. The DVD features audio commentary as well.
“I Can Only Imagine” was directed by the Erwin Brothers, who also directed “Moms’ Night Out” and “October Baby.” Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle wrote the screenplay.
The film stars J. Michael Finley, Golden Globe nominee Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, Priscilla C. Shirer, Cloris Leachman, and Madeline Carroll. Priscilla C. Shirer starred in the movie “War Room.”
To purchase a copy of the DVD yourself, please click here.