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The Pole-Mounted, Step-Down Transformer

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Thomas Michelson, the main character of the Hardy Girl / Hardy Boy Series is haunted by crosses. As a seminarian, he is learning to see the world according to the meaning of the cross. As its reality settles into his life, he sees crosses in unexpected places. The most obvious in the story is the pole-mounted transformer that he walked passed (and beneath) on his way to Terri's house when they were first dating.

What is a pole-mounted, step-down transformer, and why is it significant in this case? It steps-down the voltage of the high power transmission coming from the powerplant before it enters the houses and buildings it services. If that transformer did not step-down the power coming through the wires first, the human beings attempting to use that power would be fried. This is a compelling understanding of the cross of Christ, where One stood in the gap between the power and majesty of God and the lives of people. The cross does just this: it graciously steps down the power of God to be applied to the lives of people, Jesus stood in the gap to translate the reality of God to the level of human beings. Jesus, himself, "stepped down" from heaven in order to play this role and to save us from connecting to that which we could not handle without him. The Transformer handles the power we could not! Of course The Step-Down Transformer, also enacts a transformation for people as a result of connecting to the power of God.

In the stories The Hardy Girl and the Hardy Boy, a transformation happens in the life of Thomas Michelson, from a relatively naive and immature 20-something into a person ready to act on the calling in his life, as well as to enter into a true and mature relationship with the woman he loves. The reality of the cross becomes real in Thomas' life in ways he does not expect. He understands that other people he has encountered become Christ-figures, but he is unaware that this will also happen to him. But when it does, he is remarkably and necessarily prepared for it. In the end, it saves both Terri's life and himself.

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