What I Learned from the Movie I Can Only Imagine

April 17, 2018 | 10 comments

I rarely go to movies. I blame this on the fact that our farm is officially in the middle of nowhere, miles away from the nearest theater in the city. But the actual truth is, I’m lame and have no social life.

My 80-year-old dad is way more fun than I am and probably has a more active social calendar. Therefore, he wanted to go to the movies on a day I happened to be driving him to doctor’s appointments in the city. We carved out a couple hours between appointments, bought two matinee tickets, and leaned back into those fancy leather recliners that some theaters have these days.

I briefly considered using the next 108 minutes to take a much-needed nap but thought better of it when the movie started. I was immediately hooked. The movie: I Can Only Imagine, based on the song of the same name.

Have you seen it?

There was so much to glean from the movie—so many lessons about hope, broken relationships, disappointment, fame, and the power of forgiveness. I appreciated the story behind the song’s writer Bart Millard, lead singer of MercyMe. And, of course, it was pretty cool to watch the movie with my dad, because so much of the movie’s storyline centered on Bart’s relationship with his own father.

All of that was great, but the scene I can’t get stop thinking about is one that unfolded on the stage of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. There is a powerful lesson in it for all of us …

Read more over at (in)courage. We’d love to hear thoughts in the comments!




Each week, I host an encouraging community of bloggers who are telling their stories around the web and across the world. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT) on my blog. If you are a blogger who loves to encourage others with stories of faith and hope, you are welcome to link up with us.

Each week, I feature one of the writers in our #TellHisStory community. Our featured writer this week is Tiffiney Holmes. Have you started spring cleaning yet? Tiffiney shares 15 things (based on Scripture) for us to remember about our home. Find Tiffiney here.

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by | April 17, 2018 | 10 comments


  1. Debbie Kitterman

    Jennifer – thank you for sharing your thoughts on this movie — I did leave you a long comment over at (in)courage. Blessings and thanks for hosting the linkup

  2. Susan

    Commented over at (in)courage!

  3. Mary

    I love this! I headed back here after reading the rest. I rarely see movies too, but did happen to catch “I Can Only Imagine” two weeks ago. There were so many lessons to unpack. I love your image of the elevator. It makes me think of the whole mentoring journey we walk throughout our lives. And just when I think I am ahead and need to go back to pick someone else up, I realize they are really doing the same for me.

  4. JeanneTakenaka

    Jennifer, I loved your takeaway on this movie. There were so many things I took from the movie. But that scene with Amy Grant at the Ryman made me cry. Wow, to have that generous a spirit . . . even if it did happen differently. I could go on and on, but I won’t.

  5. Tara Ulrich

    Such a good movie! I like going to movies but hate going by myself. It wasn’t until a dear friend shared about seeing the Greatest Showman for the third time when I decided to pull up my big girls pants and go by myself. I am so glad I did. Oh and the movie “I Can Only Imagine.” SO SO good! That song is powerful. I remember hitting play on that song during a funeral of a young girl at church. She had committed suicide but her family wanted that song played. It is a moment I won’t soon forget. I loved that scene too. The Ryman is such a great venue. Have you read of Annie F Down’s love of that place in her book “Looking for Lovely?” 🙂 Thankful you got to share this moment with your dad!

  6. Betsy Cruz

    I can’t comment on (in)Courage because of my geographical location, but I loved your story about Amy Grant, Jennifer! And what a beautiful application. In the writing world, I’m probably a few floors up from some people, but pretty close to the ground floor, and happy with the place God has me. As a believer in my Middle Eastern city, I’m probably on one of the top floors, and I do want with all my heart to keep going down to the bottom floors to pour into people expecting nothing in return. Beautiful story. (And my 77 year old dad is much more active than I am. Like yours.)

  7. Jerri Miller

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but am determined to do so.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective. It’s so amazing the different way that people look at things – well I will finish up my thought at (in)courage. ~ Jerralea

  8. Sherry Thecharmofhome

    That movie sounds good. Thanks for hosting!

  9. Amy Jung

    Great post! I commented over at (in)courage!

  10. Jamie

    I read this post the day after I’d seen it myself. Perfect timing. I loved your insights.



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