I love all kinds of music. From classical to old-time rock and roll, I have songs that can trigger memories and thoughts or keep me awake all night running through my mind. Few spoke to me, and only a handful spoke deeply.

Today, one came to mind that moved me to the core some time ago, touching my soul, if you will. For those of you who react to the term soul negatively or dismissively, I understand completely.

There was a time when the only thing I wanted to hear following the word soul was food. Yes, Soul Food made sense, but the soul was one of those words I thought of derisively, if at all. That changed for me over the years, which is why I am sharing these thoughts.

Like everyone, I’ve had ups and downs in my life. Sometimes I felt like I was king of the world, to quote Leonardo DeCpario’s character in Titanic. Other times I felt like the world was set on crushing me.

Today, I’m recovering from a serious medical complication that is taking its sweet time to clear up. That is not why I Can Only Imagine came to mind when I was asked to discuss a song that speaks to me. Imagine is always in the back of my mind like a warm and fuzzy childhood memory.

It moved to that hallowed spot in my memory some years ago during a period of self-doubt and pain. I cannot remember what it was that had me upset at the time. I remember being upset and trying to brush off the concern or tension I was feeling.

I was almost home and needed to catch my breath before walking into the house. I stopped at a stop sign; the radio was on a country station. A song was finishing, and the show’s host began telling some stupid story.

I sat there for a minute, looked skyward, and said slightly dismissively, “God, is there any hope for me?” Before the words were completely out of my mouth, Imagine started to play.

I know! Part of me wants to blow it off as a major coincidence of a guy struggling with faith and a country music station happening to play a contemporary Christian song at just the right moment. As one of my theology professors admitted once in class, I have doubts.

What I believe may not be true. Then again, it might be true. I can only imagine what it will be like if it is true. If it isn’t true, I’ll never know.

© 2023



About S. Eric Jackson

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5 Responses to Imagine

  1. Anonymous says:

    A great post! Thanks for expressing how ‘I Can Only Imagine’ impacted you. I love that song too and so does my wife. And we both enjoyed the story of how you first heard it. To me it’s no longer surprising how a song written to the Son of God – who has done so much for every one of us – would inexplicably resonate in every soul who’s even half-listening. I hope you’ve delighted in lots other stuff that MercyMe has produced.

    • Thanks for sharing, and the kind words. I love Mercy Me, and cannot think of anything I’ve heard them do that disappointed me. This one sticks with me though, day and night.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting this.
    I Can Only Imagine is a powerful song and you write well about it touching your heart. It has touched mine and my wife’s heart in a similar way. A transcendent song lifted up to God’s Son, who has done so much for us. Jesus’ story answers the question “Does God really care about little old me?”

  3. Anonymous says:

    God does indeed work in mysterious ways beyond human understanding and beyond all attempts to explain them. Thanks for sharing this!

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