I Can Only Imagine

   I just returned from watching the movie "I Can Only Imagine". The story of Bart Millard, lead singer for the band Mercy Me, and the song that was inspired by his abusive father.

   Today was a day of firsts. It was the first time I ever went to a movie theater alone, and it was the first time I sat in a movie theater alone and cried like a baby.

  I did not weep for Bart who endured years of abuse at the hands of a broken father, and I did not weep for his father, who was redeemed by the grace of Jesus and who in Bart's words, "went from a man that I most hated to the man I most wanted to be like." No, although a beautiful story of grace and redemption, I did not weep for that. The song "I Can Only Imagine" has brought tears to my eyes every single time I have really listened to it, really taken in the words, but I did not weep for  the song either. Instead I wept for the marvelous, glorious, outrageous grace of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

   I recall many a time sitting in church as my father preached, and every time he talked about grace he cried. As a child it used to upset me, seeing my dad weeping, it was many years before I too finally came to that place where I recognized how glorious and amazing the grace of God really is.

 The movie today brought all that home again, and I pondered how often I have taken that grace for granted, how often I even speak of it without tears, without being totally overcome at the magnitude of it. As I thought these thoughts I asked God to please, if He only grants this one thing, may it be that I always become choked up, that I always cry, when talking about the grace I have found in Christ.

 I wept also for those who don't weep. For those for whom Christ is either a myth, or a really good teacher, and for those who know Him personally and yet never seem to weep over the magnitude of the grace He has extended to them. For my family and friends that don't really know Him, for all who can speak of His grace in the same tone and emotion that one would speak of a football game or a family vacation. Sometimes that is me. May it never be so again!

 In truth I believe that were we who call Him Lord to really think hard about it, if we really take it all in, the wonder of it, how can we not be brought to tears? That the God of all glory, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, stooped down and called my name......me, the worst of sinners, blasphemer, mocker of God, a woman who walked in darkness....and He saw me, He knew me, He loved me, He died in my place, took on all my darkness, all my sin and redeemed me. He calls me daughter, He calls me child, He calls me beloved, and if that don't bring tears to your eyes then I suspect you haven't really thought very deeply about it, or you don't believe it.

 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
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by You glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

   I can only imagine......yet I suspect I will weep.