Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
By Shannon Woodland and Scott
The 700 Club
He’s at it again. The man known as “Smitty” to millions
the world over has released another winner. Michael W. Smith’s
17th album, Healing Rain, debuted at No.11 on Billboard’s
Top 200 Albums chart. After two successful decades in the music business,
and numerous Dove and Grammy awards, you’d think Smitty would be pretty
impressed with himself. Think again.
Scott Ross recently visited Michael to learn more about
the songwriter's heart.
SCOTT ROSS: How do you live worship?
MICHAEL W. SMITH: I think it all comes down to relationships
-- how I treat my wife, how I treat my kids, how I treat the guys at the grocery
store, all aspects of every day, what I'm involved in. For some reason, we've
attached this worship phrase to all of that, but we forgot about the second
greatest commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself. That's an act of
worship. I continue to remind people it's bigger than just singing 'Open the
Eyes of My Heart.'
ROSS: I understand that the president of the United States
asked you to write a song?
SMITH: He did.
ROSS: Mr. Smith, I’d like you to write a song?
SMITH: Well, it’s so funny because he calls me 'W'.
When he sees me, he says, 'There’s the real W.' We kind of kid around
with that. It was six weeks after 9/11, and we were sitting in the Oval Office
with him and we were talking about what went down.
ROSS: OK, wait a minute. This goes flying by. I have to
stop. We were sitting in the Oval Office together?
ROSS: Where are you from?
SMITH: I’m a little runt from West Virginia.
ROSS: Here I am, Mr. President and me sitting in the Oval
Office. That’s pretty heady stuff.
I can’t explain it. I have no idea why I got picked. I know I’m
in his life for more than shooting the breeze.
ROSS: As a friend, a confidant?
SMITH: Yeah, I pray with him, I pray over him, I send him
from time to time encouraging e-mails.
ROSS: So you’re walking in some pretty big shoes?
SMITH: I guess I am.
ROSS (reporting): It’s been 22 years since Smitty
hit the music scene with his first album. So what’s in the works for
him now? Believe it or not, it’s something that’s been in his
blood for years.
SMITH: This fall I'm doing something I've never done before.
I'm starring in a film, an independent film.
ROSS: You're doing acting?
SMITH: I'm going to act. It's been in my blood for years,
but I only said I'd do something if the script were redemptive, so I'm shooting
what's called The Second Chance, acting in the film.
ROSS (reporting): Smitty’s done it all. So what’s
the bottom line for this man who has the ear of the president of the United
SMITH: I’ve been there and done all that, sold millions
of records, and that doesn’t bring you peace. It doesn’t bring
you peace. In terms of my headspace and me spiritually, I’m probably
in a better place than I ever have been. I’m on the journey like everybody,
but I’m focused. I know where my strength comes from, and it doesn’t
have anything to do with Michael W. Smith.
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