by Brian Hershey

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. Yesterday, I was flattered!

While visiting with a parent at the roller skating rink, I caught Caleb interacting with Briar (see photo). Even from a distance, I could tell this was no ordinary conversation.

Briar was enthralled. No. Spellbound. He talked as though he had a true ear to bend – and that of an older high school student no less!

Caleb listened intently, patiently with a look of genuine interest. Follow-up questions ensued. And the conversation carried on. And on.

Their body language indicated that similar conversations had transpired at other times. Both appeared comfortable and locked into the conversation. Can you even begin to imagine how special Briar must have felt, to have the undivided attention of a high schooler?!

I was witnessing something glorious.

You see, for the past year I have been the one meeting with Caleb, listening, asking, and pouring all that I could of myself into him. I was the one leaning in to hear both the spoken and unspoken. Probing. Pursuing. Hoping, praying that my investment would one day yield a return. Was that return already beginning to be seen?

Eventually my conversation with the parent ended, as did Caleb and Briar’s. I immediately made a beeline for Caleb, locked eyes with him and said, “You are Briar’s hero! That young man looks up to you.” Smiling Caleb replied, “Yeah, he and I get along pretty well. And to think it all started because I said, ‘Hello!’”

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