Michael Smith stood on a second-floor balcony, faced with a horrible dilemma. His teen years blended into young adulthood; spiraling downward under the growing addictions to drugs and alcohol.
“There were several times when I thought I’d hit rock bottom, but I was able to pull myself out and continue to live as I wanted,” Michael admits. “But this time—on that balcony—this was different!”
Michael says that he was staying with a “friend” who plied him with booze and drugs. In return, this guy used Michael “for his benefit while making me believe he was out to help me instead of harm me.”
Truth be told, up until that night on the balcony, Michael had not really cared about his supplier using him—after all, he was getting all the alcohol and drugs he wanted. Plus, Michael’s depression was urging him towards suicide, so it really didn’t matter much to him.
But on that balcony, suddenly it did.
“I had been getting the feeling that something sinister was going on. Eventually he propositioned me to murder his wife,” Michael explains.
Murder. That was a world of difference from petty theft or dealing drugs down at the street corner.
“I went out onto the balcony to smoke a cigarette to think things over and to buy myself some time,” he continues. He smoked a second cigarette to stall a little longer.
“When I finished that second cigarette, I walked towards the balcony door,” Michael says. “I began to shake uncontrollably to the point that I could not move another step forward!”
Michael says that he sensed God speaking to him, saying that if he walked back in, presumably to accept the job—he would die. On one hand to commit murder would likely mean life-imprisonment; on the other hand, what better way to silence the killer than to later have him killed?
“I turned away from the balcony door and jumped off the second-story level onto the ground below!”
Miraculously, Michael’s landing caused no injury. He ran through the neighborhood, jumping multiple backyard fences in order to put as much distance as he could from what he knew would have been a death sentence.
Michael went to The Salvation Army in Dalton, Georgia, who sent him to the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Birmingham, Alabama. He successfully graduated from the program and is now an active and faithful soldier of the Birmingham 614 Corps.
Plus, he is considering Salvation Army officership within the next five years.
“God blessed me to stay alive through the addictions and oppression until all I could do is look up and ask Him for help,” a clean and sober Michael witnesses.
“I’m extremely thankful that God spoke to me and helped me as I lay helpless at the bottom of all my mess. The Lord showed up in a mighty way and literally saved my life” …even though Michael had to jump off a high balcony in the process!
—Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor, National Publications