Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Looking Glass, Chapter 4

(This is the third continuation of Monday night's entry- I am repeating the introduction below.)
We worked on one of my favorite assignments in our classes today. This week, the memory verse we are studying is James 1:22-24:
"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.''
We discussed the meaning and I brought up that Mom, in her late stages of Alzheimer's, did not recognize her own image. I told the kids that sometimes at the end of the day, I look at myself in the mirror, and don't always like what I see. The kids finished this statement: 'When I look in the mirror, I see....' Every student was allowed complete confidentiality and I did not even read any that requested privacy. My students were very honest. Over the next few nights, I'll run some of the responses of those who wanted to share; boys are in blue and girls are in purple. These are a mixture of 8th graders, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Some will choke you up.

"When I look in the mirror, I see a pessimistic, cynical child. I see wasted potential followed with apathy and disdain. I see a child who thinks he has life figured out only to find out he truly knows nothing; that is all I see." J.

"When I look in the mirror I see a girl who faces many struggles in life and is just trying to get by. I see a girl who many people don't actually know. I see a girl that people don't ask questions. I see a girl who is frustrated with life and just wishes that things could go right for once. I see a girl who wishes her dad would show he cares, if he even does care. I see a girl who isn't as confident as she pretends to be. I see a girl who holds everything in and shuts people out, who builds walls to make sure she doesn't get hurt. I see that girl differently than everybody else sees her because not many people actually take the time to get to know her." J.

"When I look in the mirror, I see a burning passion in my eyes for the things I love. I also ask alot of questions as to my existence and my future. I see a boy who is legally an 'adult' but still a kid at heart. I see the reflection of both my parents in my face and all they have done for me. I see a bright future despite a dark past. In the mirror, I can see myself for who I really am and I wish more people would see the same. I see a misunderstood person." S.

"When I look in the mirror I see a scared, emotional, loving girl, someone consistently warned about the future and what it has in store for me. Someone who loves so hard, but doesn't always know the best way to show it. Someone who appears cocky and nonchalant but, in fact, is the exact opposite. My cockiness is sometimes a way to cover up my insecurities, although we all have them. I also see someone who is willing to change and always become better at everything; a sincere person with the biggest heart you'll ever encounter. People tend to have me mistaken, but I'm starting not to care as much about what other people think and strive to be the best I can. If you really knew me..." I.

"When I look in a mirror, I see a young man with many faults. I see a child of God who is in chains because of sin. I also see one who is made perfect through God's son, Jesus. I see one who is loved no matter what happens and no matter how long sin has embraced him." H.

"When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who sometimes doesn't understand things; a person who could try harder but makes excuses. A girl who doesn't have courage when it comes to different things. A girl who has doubts about everything and can't make a decision. I see a baby face which makes me look like I'm twelve years old. Even with God helping to make better decisions, I still turn the other cheek or blow him off. A kid who is still trying to figure out how her future will turn out even though she reads 'For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a purpose and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.' I see someone who reads this verse over and over again and still worries the same thing." K.

"When I look in the mirror, I see an ambitious person who wants to confront the world and overcome any obstacles to reach his goal. I see a guy who has matured and yet not, for his emotional side pulls him back and makes him a prisoner. I see a man who is calm, respectful, responsible, dependable, and funny. I see a young man who doesn't show his true emotions to anyone but keeps and protects what's important to him and stands up for his beliefs." F.

Applicable quote of the day:
I stayed away from mirrors when I was younger and I didn't like having my picture taken. I was tall and had braces and felt ugly.
Kylie Bax

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Very nice, thanks for sharing. It's harder today being young I think. But I was young in the 60's and 70's- so maybe not. I remember those feelings of uncertainty and wondering how on earth things could possibly work out. You seem like a great teacher, with great assignments.

Name: Luana Krause said...

Hi, Steve. These statements from your students are moving and inspiring. It must be a wonderful blessing to part of their lives.

Belle said...

My heart goes out to these young people. May God bless them and keep them, may his face shine upon then and give them peace.