When the struggle was overwhelming, Michael W. Smith's "Above All" was a source of comfort.
In 2018, Jim Caviezel was the guest speaker at Liberty University’s Convocation, where he spoke to thousands of students about his faith and career.
While the appearance was officially to promote his movie Paul, Apostle of Christ, his speech naturally touched on his role as Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, an experience that forever changed the actor’s Catholic faith.
Jim Caviezel gave what may be the greatest Catholic address of the 21st century
Caviezel recounted the harrowing ordeal that his role of Jesus turned into, as he suffered several injuries during the filming process. These injuries include a dislocated shoulder from collapsing under the weight of the cross, a horrible bout of hypothermia that caused the acclaimed actor to need open heart surgery, and even being struck by lightning.
He noted that some of the most arduous shots to film were those where he was up on the cross. Strong winds were agitating his previous shoulder injury and Caviezel was suffering greatly.
It was then that a man named Ken put a set of headphones on Caviezel, who was treated the song “Above All,” by Michael W. Smith. As Caviezel told it:
“I listened to it over and over and over again. My heart started to burn. I mean burn inside. I had tears coming out and at that point my whole day was gone in 10 minutes. It put me in a zone and took me out of my pain. It took me out of feeling sorry for myself and itt took me into heaven,” Caviezel said, going on to note that the song made him realize that “even in all this suffering, man, evil has no power over us at all.”
The tune is a beautiful song of praise that’s written in the style of a hymn. The accompaniment is soft and comforting and the lyrics speak of the goodness of God’s works and how the Lord reigns supreme over earthly powers. The chorus reflects on the great sacrifice that Jesus made for all in the moment of the Crucifixion.
The discussion went on to talk about Paul, Apostle of Christ, but Jim had some more words of encouragement for the thousands of students in attendance. He said:
“Set yourselves apart from this corrupt generation. Be saints. You weren’t made to fit in. You were born to stand out.”
Watch the full Liberty University Convocation in the video featured below.