Director: Marty Madden
A mysterious drifter wanders down a dark and lonely road. He breaks into a barn for shelter during a storm — collapsing from exhaustion — ragged and drunk.
A plain-spoken rancher finds him and takes him on as a hired hand. He’s a good worker – goes by the name of Cotton — and has an almost magical way with the horses. But, there’s something darker – something hidden.
A man without a past – or one trying to escape it.
Over time, the relationships between the rancher, his young daughter and this mysterious stranger grow. We learn how the rancher lost his wife and son in a tragic car accident. About how it left a hole in his soul that has not healed – and maybe never will. And about how he’s tried to remain strong for his young daughter and how she’s tried to remain strong for him.
We even learn a bit about Cotton – that his sister and mother are still alive – that his deceased father was a preacher – and that most of his childhood was spent traveling the revival circuit with his family – passing the collection plate to make ends meet.
Cotton even starts courting the pretty, straight-shooting young woman who comes in to help out at the ranch.
He allows himself to think that he might have finally found a place to call home.
But Cotton’s fragile dreams are shattered when his past catches up with him His predatory evangelist mother has tracked him down, demanding her son and his profitable gifts rejoin her on the revival circuit.
Cotton refuses – questioning her motives – and shaming her for how she treated him and his sister in the past.
But, Cotton’s mother won’t back down. She storms the ranch leading a group of people desperate for her son’s healing gifts.
Cotton addresses the crowd – telling them he cannot heal – that if he ever had the gift – now, it is gone.
But, before his words can settle, the rancher’s dog darts into the crowd and is hit by a car. The rancher’s daughter cries out – racing to her injured pet. She turns to Cotton – begging for help.
Moved by the young girl’s tears, Cotton goes to the dog – laying his hands upon him. Miraculously, the dog stirs – rising to its feet. It is healed.
The crowd rushes Cotton. He turns – overwhelmed — jumping into a nearby truck and driving away. His mother standing in the crowd — convulsing – spinning – and speaking in tongues as his truck speeds towards the horizon.
Later that night, Cotton returns. The rancher confronts him. Cotton responds that he’s trying to protect them. That his mother won’t stop. That maybe it would be best if he just left.
The rancher challenges him – demanding to know if he can really just throw away everything he’s built here – admonishing him that “it sounds like you’ve figured out what’s worth running away from – maybe it’s time you figured out what’s worth staying for.”
Cotton recommits to his new life — joining his new family for church – and even meeting three generations of his girlfriend’s family.
But, Cotton cannot seem to escape his past when his sister comes to visit. She’s been injured – confined to a wheel chair – she asks him to come to the revival and heal her.
Torn, Cotton goes to the revival to heal his sister. His mother quiets the crowd and calls him to the stage where his sister is waiting. Cotton places his hands on her and tells her she is healed. She begins to stand – but suddenly collapses on the ground.
An uncomfortable silence fills the tent. It’s clear to everyone. Cotton has no magic gifts. He’s just an ordinary man.
Crushed that he could not help his sister, but relieved to be free of his past, Cotton returns to his new life – moving in with the family – and asking his girlfriend to marry him.
But elsewhere, a storm is brewing. Cotton’s mother is destroyed. Lost in a haze of whiskey and rage. Her entire world shattered by the loss of her son’s miraculous gifts.
Until she accidentally witnesses a miracle. Her daughter – Cotton’s sister – gets up out of her wheelchair and walks across the room!
Cotton’s mother races to her son – confronting him with her astounding revelation – demanding that he rejoin his real family and share his gifts with the world!
But, Cotton stands firm — claiming his new family and his new life – and declaring that his mother has no part in either.
Cotton’s mother turns on him – savage – attacking! Promising her son that it is her blood pumping through his veins – and it is that blood that will bring him home again.
All seems quiet for a while. But, on the day of the wedding, Cotton receives a phone call. And, he is devastated by what he hears.
His mother has gone insane — poisoned his sister — trying to force Cotton to reveal his gifts — knowing that he would never let his sister die.
Cotton races to his sister — kneeling beside her on the floor. He places his hands on her body – trying to will her back to life. But, nothing. He cannot save her. His sister is dead.
Cotton returns home lost and broken. Unsure of himself – his God – and his life. Why would God give him such a gift – and then not allow him to use it to save the person he loved the most? What does it all mean?
But, with the help of his new family, Cotton finds a way to move on – to reclaim his life and his gifts as his own – and to appreciate the small, everyday miracles that surround all of us.