In a horrific fire as a child; this is why I am still alive
I didn't know till yesterday that anyone else really shared these experiences. I read the clip on AOL and it hit me between the eyes. I do not talk about this often, as it brings a horrible day to life. Yet, the discovery that others have experienced this compels me.
As a 12 year old boy I was caught in a horrific apartment fire in metropolitan New Jersey. I was staying over with a school friend in his father's split -level apartment overlooking the Hudson River. I awoke early in the morning hearing bottles breaking, as well as the screams of a person who would perish in the flames. I smelled smoke and got out of bed, walking down the hall and hearing the roar of an inferno. I was greeted by a wall of fire that had engulfed the entire upper part of the apartment. It also was the way out.
My friend went to call the fire department in the next bedroom as I walked back to our room. The room was starting to fill with smoke and I knew it was only a matter of time till the fire went down the hall to us. I realized that I was going to die and laid down on the bed. I wasn't upset or frantic; there was a strange peace as I laid my head on the pillow looking at the ceiling. In my ear I could hear the roar of flames down the hall; in my nose the smell of flames that I will never forget.
I had never been in the apartment before and with the entrance being blocked... I didn't see any way out. We were trapped. My life would end in this 16th floor apartment but this peace was so pervasive. I never really thought to look for another way out as balconies were on the other side of the apartment; the side overlooking the scenic Hudson River.
Suddenly I heard what I can only describe as distinctive voice inside my head speaking in the 2nd person. It simply said, "Get up, go over to the window, and look down." It was so striking as it interupted the moment. It was imperative, and it spoke in a command voice. I had confidence in the voice as it brought an idea I had never contemplated. It was a voice of serenity and gentle authority in the midst of utter destruction. I know that it was not my thought as I had finished looking for an escape and the thought of looking out any window never dawned on me. Frankly, what would be under that particular window but a parking lot 16 floors below.
I somehow got up, went over to that window, and looked down. To my utter amazement, balconies started two floors below! This was the way out! The voice was right! There was a way out.
I got my friend and told him to follow me. I opened the window, and dropped through the air hitting the balcony on the 14th floor. I tumbled to the side as I knew he was coming and he dropped as well. We got out.
I think to myself, what if nothing had been under that window? But, as I imagine others will say in the book, it doesn't seem to happen that way. There is a way out and the way of the passionate voice is correct.
I haven't read the book yet. I am sitting here just amazed that others have had stories and someone is doing research. I know what I experienced. Finding this last night was like having a door openned to be greeted by thousands of others out there who know the reality of this.
Having a brush with death and hearing this voice does change the course of one's life. I have talked to people who have had near-death experiences. These third-man experiences are as real to those who have had them as near-death experiences are to the others. I tend to fall on the "something-is out-there" side of things rather merely chemicals in the brain. Even if there are chemicals at work activating parts of the brain, it would make sense that a guardian,or God, activates them into specific action with a specific path out. How else would He communicate if not by the brain He has made.
This is why I am alive today. It was the voice. The trauma of that day has been overshadowed by the wonder and amazement of the Voice that directed me. It this this experience that no doubt has shaped me in more ways than I understand.
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Many people have encountered a sense of an unseen companion helping them, lending support or sharing wisdom. If you've had a Third Man encounter and want to share it with others, you're invited to post the experience here.