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Bart Millard's Story Behind

( [email protected] ) May 04, 2004 09:23 AM EDT

Mercy Me’s Bart Millard shares the heart-rending story behind the beautiful song “I Can Only Imagine.” This song touches a part of the heart that yearns to meet with God in the world where there is no pain, no sorrow, and no sufferings of this world. From the moment the piano music begins to softly play, all focus becomes directed to the Lord. The lyrics show us a glimpse of the world of peace where all our worries are no longer superficial, but only for the glory of God. Millard simply expresses all of mankind’s deep thirst for completion in God. Here is the story behind “I Can Only Imagine” by songwriter, Bart Millard.

When my father died of cancer in 1991, he left me with the assurance that he was headed to a better place. He used to always tell me that I was getting the raw end of the deal because I had to stick around here. For several years following his death, I would find myself writing the phrase, I can only imagine, on anything I could find. That simple phrase would give me a peace and a hope thinking about what my dad was finally experiencing.

Years later, in 1999, MercyMe was writing songs for an independent project. I remember coming home from a show and being wide awake on our bus at 2 o'clock in the morning. I was trying to write lyrics in an old notebook of mine, when all of a sudden, I stumbled across that phrase. About ten minutes later, the song was written. Some people say it's amazing that it was written in ten minutes, when really it had been on my heart for almost ten years.

I Can Only Imagine

Words and Music By Bart Millard (MercyMe)

c 2001 Simpleville Music/ASCAP

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 your face is before me

I can only imagine

Chorus

Surrounded by your glory

What will my heart feel

Will I dance for your 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

And I find myself standing in the Son

I can only imagine when all I will do

Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

Chorus

I can only imagine

When all I will do

Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine