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


just an ordinary man

by Duane Scott time to read: 3 min