Surrounded by Your 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…
-- Music and Lyrics by Brad Dillard
I’ve been thinking a lot lately. About my own mortality, mostly. I don’t know why; I’m healthy, and I have no plans of going anywhere soon. I guess with all that happened to me over the winter I’ve been taking stock in what is important to me. Perhaps I’m starting to realize that I’m not getting any younger, either; that’s been a wake-up call. However, I don’t ever plan to give up.
When Brad Dillard wrote the song “I Can Only Imagine”, it was inspired by the incredible suffering he watched his father endure while battling cancer. The way I heard the story, his father told him and other members of his family that he would rather see God than stay and suffer.
In my way of thinking, that is completely understandable. Who wouldn’t want to stay here under those circumstances?
Not surprisingly, he had a really tough time dealing with that. After his father died, however, Brad thought about it a great deal. He wrote the phrase “I can only imagine” on everything: sheets of paper, bags, white boards, just about anything. He did this pretty much throughout his senior year of high school.
Maybe ten years later, events in his life caused this all to resurface for him. The phrase came back to him. And he wrote the song.
He said it took ten minutes. After all, if you’re holding on to something for ten years, to put it down on paper in ten minutes is equivalent to a blink.
This is a really good live performance. It took a while for me to find it, but it is one of the best renditions of this that Mercy Me has done. And, I promised my friend Fr. Austin that I would put up the original video. While this isn’t the original (it is extremely hard to find it now anywhere because of copyright issues) I like it better simply because it is a live performance, and the essence of the music video is shown on the screen behind the band.
Besides, whether or not you believe, it is a great song.