just an ordinary man

Written by Duane Scott

GENERAL EDITOR I'm a writer, nature lover, a friend, a singer (in the shower), a Cheetos lover and a Snuggie hater. And God and I are buddies.

April 5, 2011

 

Brandon Cole is an ordinary man.

He goes to work Monday through Friday, takes his son fishing or plays softball on Saturdays, and faithfully attends the church down the road each Sunday.

And sometimes, the following Monday, I hear from the other guys, he loses his temper.

Like I said, Brandon Cole is an ordinary man.

I sit in my easy chair after dinner, the blinds closed to the pervading darkness outside. I reach for my novel on the coffee table; the novel that’s been on the bestseller lists for thirteen weeks straight due to the controversy surrounding it. After flipping my foot rest up, I reach for the lamp by my side, adjusting it to fall across my page.

I read until my eyes become weary.

Before heading up the stairs to bed, I stand yawning by the window, watching the night close in on this sleepy town. Turning away from the window, I pad around the house in my bare feet, doing my nightly ritual of checking locks, turning off lights, and adjusting thermostats. Once more, after the house is secured for night, I glance toward the window, noting that the melancholy hue cast by the streetlight is all that is left to see.

But suddenly a light, like those cast by automobiles, momentarily sweeps across my living room floor.

Through the darkness, I move toward the window in curiosity, wondering who might be out at this hour.

Brandon Cole is returning home from work.

I watch from the silent shadows of my living room.

He moves quickly, grabbing his lunchpail from the bed of his truck, and walks up the sidewalk to the common two story house he calls home. The porch light flips on, and his wife meets him at the door. I watch as they quickly embrace, the front door is closed, and the porch light turns off.

As I turn toward the stairs to go to bed, I can’t help but wonder what it is that drives Brandon Cole to be the man he is.

The next Sunday, as I sit in a country church, the same country church Brandon attends, I get my answer.

At the close of the sermon, a time is given for testimonies, and Brandon is first to his feet.

“This past week…” His hands cling nervously to the pew in front of him. “This past week has been a challenge. Seems like the hours keep getting longer and longer at work, and the time I spend with God gets shorter and shorter. It was one of these early mornings this last week, as I was cleanin’ the breaker boxes on the irrigation lines, that God started talking to me.”

Intrigued, I leaned forward, hoping to catch his quiet words.

“The thought came to me that being a Christian was kinda like cleanin’ them breaker boxes. You know, as I pulled each of them fuses from the box, I’d polish them with emory cloth, sometimes I’d pinch the prongs together, just to makin’ sure that each one fit snug back in its place so it got good connection to the power. That’s what Christian life is like. Just makin’ sure that we polish our hearts so we can keep good contact with the Source from above.”

I didn’t hear much more of his testimony after that. Because I had learned what it was that made Brandon the man he was.

Although he was an ordinary man, he kept in contact with an extraordinary God.

-Duane Scott

 

70 Comments

  1. Bryantdneal

    That’s a great testimony! Like the disciples who couldn’t cast the demon out of the young boy, our hearts become corroded with the everyday, and our prongs get bent so that we can’t maintain contact with this supra-ordinary God. Jesus called them a faithless and perverse generation because they had become less connected with God, and more connected with the world. When we get a little out of whack, we must whip out the emory cloth of the word and polish off the world, and get out prayer and fasting to bend out prongs back in place…..

    Thanks for a great share!!!

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Bryan,

      I want to tell you how correct you are in this statement you made: “become less connected with God, and more connected with the world.” That’s who I am too often. Like the novel I read just because I hear it’s controversial, I tend to sometimes lose my focus and tap into that Source above. Thank you for commenting, and I hope to see you around again!

      -DS

      Reply
  2. Kristinherdy

    that’s awesome – keeping contact, and longing for that contact, making sure we fit securely into our communion with him… that’s what it’s all about.

    I love your telling of this story, and his testimony.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @kristenherdy

      I want to thank you for your support. Now, I’m hopping over to your blog to see what you’ve been up to. 😉

      -DS

      Reply
  3. Jason Vana

    I love the simplicity of his story/testimony. Too often I think we have this idea that to follow God, we have to do something extraordinary – become a pastor, start a ministry, sell everything and move 1/2 way around the world, have 3 hour prayer times, study our bibles for hours on end – when really, it’s all about doing what we can to stay connected to our Source.

    Another great post, bro!

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @jasonvana

      Now you know why I’m not a pastor, Jason. 🙂 My knees would give out long before 3 hours were up. On a more serious note, I loved your comment… and that you got all that from this post.

      Thanks man,

      DS

      Reply
        • Duane Scott

          @jasonvana

          You’re pretty CLOSE to being a pastor, though. At least in my books. 🙂 Another reason I couldn’t be a pastor? I laugh when I’m stressed. Thus, I could never conduct a funeral.

          Reply
          • Jason Vana

            Yea, I might not have the piece of paper to say so, but I definitely do a lot of what a pastor does. And I’m with you, I don’t think I could do a funeral. When I get nervous, I crack jokes. Probably not the best when people are grieving.

          • Duane Scott

            @justinvana

            You can read the eulogy at my funeral then. 🙂 I don’t want people to cry when I die. Do you think I can be buried with a bag of peeps?

          • Kristinherdy

            I don’t think peeps decompose. I’d be embalmed with them, for added flair.

          • Duane Scott

            @kristenherdy Are you saying that peeps are “passed” whole? I mean, if they don’t decompose in our stomachs… Do you see where I’m going with this?

          • Kristinherdy

            Oh, I see, but would like you to pass me the brain bleach, please. I’m saying, pretty sure peeps and twinkies will outlast a nuclear holocaust

          • Jason Vana

            I was actually going to make you a Peeps casket, so you could be buried in the delicious treat you loved so much. I only have 2 questions for you:
            – Bunnies or Birds?
            – What color?

          • Duane Scott

            @jasonvana @kristenherdy HA! Um, they must be bunnies. And they have to be blue. I’m peep racist that way. 🙂

          • Jason Vana

            Pink birdie peeps it is! We have to get you un-peep racist before you die. What if St. Peter really was a peep?! You’ll never get into heaven! And I want an eternity of harassing you! #bromance

          • Kristinherdy

            for real, what would St. Peepter say?!

          • Jason Vana

            Thou hath discriminated against thine Peep brethren and so thou will be sent to thine eternal Peep torment.

            I hear it’s where the Peeps eat YOU!

          • Duane Scott

            @kristinherdy SNORT! St. Peepster, actually. He probably “likes” my facebook page. Have you seen how @jasonvana built it?

          • Kristinherdy

            yes, I’m all kinds of impressed by your #bromance boyfriend’s mad skillz

          • Duane Scott

            @kristenherdy Yes, I’ll keep him. 😉

          • Duane Scott

            @jasonvana Yes, you can find that scripture in Duane 5:13

  4. Anonymous

    Loved this, Duane! You tell a good story my friend.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @justinfalls

      Thank you, kind sir. 🙂 Why do I always get the feeling you refuse to look me in the eye? Your avi makes you seem either snotty or has an inferior complex. Okay, that wasn’t nice of me, but someone had to tell you… and who better than a dude involved in a bromance?

      Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @justinfalls I still love you, man. And I like your avi. I just want to see your eyes. 🙂 Okay, this is just getting WEIRD, dude. I’m gonna be quiet now.

      Reply
        • Duane Scott

          @jasonvana I KNOW! It slipped out before I realized. And I don’t know how to delete.

          Reply
          • Jason Vana

            Yea, you’re kind of a stalker. Just sayin’ lol

          • Princess Lilac

            …And this is the point where I realize I will never understand the complexities of the bromance.

          • Jason Vana

            The best thing is just not to try to understand it. It’s not really understandable. lol

          • Princess Lilac

            Got it. Check. Lol.

          • Duane Scott

            @jasonvana This is my favorite comment I’ve seen today. 🙂 That’s right, @princesslilac. You can’t explain it!

          • Jason Vana

            I figured you would have liked it =D #bromancealltheway!

  5. Anonymous

    Well said!

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @helenatrandom

      HELEN! How nice to see you over here. 😉 I’m gonna stop by your place this afternoon sometime. Could you make a nice pot of coffee?

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        How about some Earl Grey tea and a cookie? Ooooo! COOKIE! I need to go shopping!

        Reply
        • Duane Scott

          @helenatrandom

          Store bought cookies? Bleck… I thought it was you that had the rule you could only eat sweets that you personally had baked. Or was that @weightwhat. Anyway, I also don’t like tea. I’m sorry! I really want to hang out, but you know, you must meet me half way. Buy some Cheetos?

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            Yes, that’s my rule. Unless they are GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! But now that I know that you don’t want any……. 😉

          • Duane Scott

            @helenatrandom Ha! My wife bought some girl scout cookies and tried feeding them to me. I almost threw up. They had coconut on them!

          • Anonymous

            SAMOAS! Those are the best!

          • Duane Scott

            @helenatrandom I had to ask my wife what the world SAMOAS were. I didn’t know how to pronounce it, but when she saw your words on the screen, her eyes lit up. It must be one of those girly secrets. 🙂

          • @bibledude

            #samoas are definitely not a chick thing… they’re TOTALLY my fave! now if we can just draw a parallel between eating samoas and the whole fuse thing that brandon talks about in this post, we’ll be in good shape…

          • Duane Scott

            @bibledude @helenatrandom Now, this is gonna be a stretch to make them correlate. Maybe Brandon Cole likes to shout SAMOAS while he’s praising God? I still don’t know what they are.

          • Kristinherdy

            Somoas are cookies, not to be confused with Somoans

          • Duane Scott

            @kristenherdy SNORT! And now FINALLY someone tells me. What kind of cookies are they? Are they related to the Girl Scout Cookies?

  6. Melissa Brotherton

    Loved this story, Duane! It’s always great to remember that the extraordinary in me is Him. 🙂

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @melissa_rae

      Are you quoting Gondi or something? That was amazingly well said. 😉

      Reply
  7. Jay Cookingham

    “Ordinary” moments often give space for the Father to speak…if we listen. Thanks Bro’

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @jaycookingham

      The trick is listening. When I hear stories like this one from Brandon, it causes me to stop and listen a bit more. Thanks Jay!

      Reply
  8. Jaycee (E.A)

    This is just simply beautiful, Scott. I am so inspired by this, I can’t even explain how much. By far my favorite read so far this week 🙂

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @lightherlamp

      Thank you so much for the comment! Not that I want the praise of man, but I really needed to hear that today that my words were actually inspiring. Sometimes I wonder if I write and it’s just a voice shouting in the darkness. So thanks, for everything. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Dav-45

    Beautiful story & reminder! How easy it is 4 us 2 forget that the Bible is filled w/stories of ordinary men & women whom God used 2 do extraordinary things because they strived 2 stay n contact w/The Master power connection!

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Thank you, Donna! That’s so true! I am content to be an ordinary man as long as I live my entire life being connected to the extraordinary God. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Cindee Snider Re

    Yup! An extraordinary God at work in ordinary lives, the substance and miracle of following Jesus Christ. Excellent post, Duane!

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @CindeeSniderRe Thanks for your support Cindee. I’m just an ordinary guy, like you’re an ordinary girl. But we encourage each other and that’s extraordinary. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Nikole Hahn

    Powerful. God called us to be plumbers, gardners, bank tellers, motor vehicle employees, etc (as I read somewhere else) and in those ordinary moments He shines His light through us to the unbelievers or those with a shakier faith.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @NikoleHahn I love the spirit you have…. and you and your husband still have to take me for a hike. 🙂 I think it’d be fun to see God through your eyes for a day.

      Reply
  12. A Simple Country Girl

    Excellent story, mister Duane. The part that sticks with me is the wife who greets her man at the door with a late-night hug… probably cause that’s how things are around here too when my ordinary fella works loooooooong days that blur into nights. These ordinary men that serve an extraordinary God indeed have stories worth telling. Thanks for this.

    Blessings.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      that part stuck out to me too! it seems like it would be an insignificant part of the story, but it kept lingering in my head… i think it’s VERY significant. from a dude’s perspective, i think it would be difficult to have a strong connection with God if you didn’t have a strong connection also with your spouse.

      i’ll have to think more about that… that’s a good thought… even if it was unintended.

      thanks SCG!

      Reply
      • A Simple Country Girl

        unintended thoughts make the world go ’round, aye?

        Reply
        • Duane Scott

          SCG and @bibledude,

          I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m bragging or anything, because it isn’t. The thought wasn’t unintentional. This entire story is fiction. I don’t know a Brandon Cole. I don’t go to a church with him. But this thought WAS presented over the pulpit last Sunday about being connected to God, and I wanted to use it! So this story formed almost immediately in my mind. And I mirrored Brandon Cole off of someone I knew. Someone who is a lot like me. 🙂 Minus the working on irrigation lines part. But I’m the guy with a supportive wife who loses his temper once in a while. I’m the guy who rushes off to work and sometimes doesn’t have time to talk to God. But I most desperately want to be connected to Him. He is my Source above.

          Does this hinder the story for you if you know this?

          -DS

          Reply
          • @bibledude

            Not at all! Actually makes lots of sense… but the idea that you’re watching yourself come home from work is kinda strange… makes me feel like I’m watching Inception or something….

          • Duane Scott

            @bibledude Haha. I never even thought of that when I wrote it. I was simply removed from the story at the time. I guess you could say it’s creepy, but a writer can’t control his mind. It creeps where it wants to creep and often doesn’t even make sense to the writer himself.

            Yes, I’m a tortured artist.

          • A Simple Country Girl

            DS, No, this doesn’t hinder the story. Actually I read somewhere that in order to tell the whole truth and get a point across (or share a lesson or whatever…) sometimes an author needs to make-up an entire story or parts thereof.

            And frankly, I couldn’t figure out if BibleDude was saying that yours, mine, or his thought was unintentional. I just chalked it up to my being simple and not getting it. Either way, it’s a great story and each person’s interpretation and take-away value varies depending upon their history and their current needs. And that is what’s so cool about the written word.

            Blessings.

          • @bibledude

            i was referring to the idea that Duane may not have intended the strong spouse relationship to be a big point in the idea of having a strong connection with God. it’s just something that i get out of this… the importance of that part of the story to the overall message of it.

            and totally agree on the points about it not hindering the story…

          • Duane Scott

            This intrigues me greatly. SCG, I am here to tell you that sometimes I make up part of the story to help it along. Not all the time, but sometimes. My wife, who knows each story in its entirety sometimes wonders, until I explained to her that it’s what artists do. Writing is art. We have to stretch ourselves to create something a little less than ordinary.

            🙂

    • Duane Scott

      I’m guessing you meet your husband at the door then…. 🙂 Keep doing that. Guys like things like that. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Princess Lilac

    This fits what God has been teaching me lately… I’m grateful you shared about Brandon. It’s not complicated, is it? No, it’s only complicated when I make it so…

    It’s simple: I am ordinary chosen by Divine. I am flawed kissed by Perfection. I am weakness cherished by Beautiful. I am me saved by God.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @princesslilac I think that last statement should be on your “About Me” page. 🙂

      Reply
      • Princess Lilac

        Consider it done. ^_^

        Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. just an ordinary man | duane scott - [...] To read the rest of the story, and find out what it is about Brandon that intrigues me, please…
  2. reflections on resurrection, the word, and self [april 2011 top content] by Dan King (filed in connect, the latest): BibleDude.net: read. pray. serve. – BibleDude.net - [...] just an ordinary man [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

just an ordinary man

by Duane Scott time to read: 3 min
72