When is the last time you have seen someone with ‘ the shine?’ You know, the little sumpin’-sumpin’ that makes a soul stand out from the normal pack of everybodies?
We all have our unique sparkles of greatness. But most times, those talents are buried, undiscovered, precious diamonds to yet be unearthed from the darkness. But in rare instances, a light shaft radiates through the cloud cover, almost blinding and causes one to rummage for sunglasses.
For example, our daughter Misty on her fourth birthday wanted a Craft-matic adjustable bed for her birthday. It was all the rage on the Weather Channel, which she watched religiously. We summed up that she was (a) a weird little child and (b) was fascinated with weather.
We were wrong. (On the weather part, anyway.) Now at 25, we understand that she was drawn to the communication role of the forecasters, filling in the gaps between the 8’s of the Hour. She had to dig around in the dirt for a while before her jewel set in radio broadcasting.
On the other hand, my husband and I stand agog as we watch from afar a rising predictor of storms that threaten western/central Kansas. Brooks Barber is only a freshman in high school, but from the way this pressure system has hit scene, you can tell his head is far from being in the clouds.
Since we started following Lead Forecaster Brooks last summer, we have grown to depend on his forecasts and the fun youthful element he puts into his reporting. “The snow system will be moving across western Kansas tonight and BOOM! it will hit with 12-16 inches.” Then he added a day-to-day bar graph of the probability that school would declare much coveted snow days in Hays, America.
“So what is Lead Forecaster Brooks reporting for us?” Cliff asks when he crosses our threshold and empties the pockets work clothes every evening. Somehow the kid, whose a couple years from completely filling out his official looking suit and tie, has become a sage presence we depend on. If a tornado is brewing, and he says to hit the dirt, we’ll scramble to our hidey-hole without a thought.
Although we have had a very calm tornado season for Kansas so far this year, I have no doubt that when rumbles interrupt the evening, his mom, Annette, has been torn between encouraging his passion of keeping an eye-on-the-skies and making sure he gets to bed decently for the big English test before dawn through yonder window breaks.
Annette confessed that she has a time keeping up with her whirlwind. Checks started appearing in the mail, due to his freelancing weather graphics for news stations across the country this winter. Are these places aware that her son is ‘just’ a freshman in high school? Who could tell and if they do, I bet their jaws are dropping like a renegade thunder shower. Brooks’s talent is that good.
And this proud mama had best keep the car gassed up; she never knows when they will be buzzing to Wichita for a job-shadowing gig with Mark Larson at KWCH. “He does this all on his own,” she insists. The basement has been commandeered for a weather lab, not to mention he has another weather fanatic for a buddy with an actual green screen for them to do official reports!
Make no mistake, he has captured a lot of people’s attention. Just ask the over 4,100 Facebook fans, who watch the Cirrus Weather site he co-owns and operates. (And has racked up over a million views to boot!)
His gift baffles adult reasoning.
After three days they found him (Jesus) in the courts, sitting around the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard was amazed at his understanding and answers. Luke 2:46-47
Like I said, once in awhile a kid bursts forth with the indescribable ‘shine,’ a mojo far beyond their years, one that carries a responsibility that can carry the reality of life or death.
My prayer for our favorite forecaster is this: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (2 Timothy 4:11) (Now, back to watching the thunderstorm warning you reported that we’re in, young man!)
If you search him on Facebook, you are in for a treat. And be sure to tell him his #1 fan sent you–wink!
Lead Forecaster Brooks
Photo credit: Annette Barber