(This is the sixth and final 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 boy: a boy strong in the Lord and lost trying to find a way into the path of becoming a man. I see a boy who tries to please everyone with his jokes and smiles, but when it comes down to it, he is torn, deep down. I see a boy who has a strong faith in God's power, who knows that God has a great plan for his life. I see love for the Savior who showers down blessings from above. I see hope for a helping hand and for the guidance to gain the respect to be called a man. I see a well-thought out and pure product of God's plan." W.
"When I look in the mirror, I see an inner beauty only I will be able to see from the outside. I see a girl whose character makes it seem like no insult hurts but yet feels like piercing repeatedly. I see someone who can see exactly what the future is like but doesn't really know the right steps to progress. When I look in the mirror, I see a child of God who tries to use every opportunity to spread the Word but then again, I see a girl who contradicts what she preaches. When I look in the mirror, I see a maturing adult who wants to stay innocent forever." P.
"When I look in the mirror, I see unfulfilled potential. I see the stupid mistakes I have made but I still continue to make the same mistakes. I set goals and keep failing. I see a very average athlete who practices as much as the best. I question why I can't have the same gifts as others but I know God has a plan for me; I hope He lets me in on it soon." B.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a young girl who everyone expects to achieve her goals because of her accomplishments and become better than what her parents were. I see a pretty face but on the inside, she can't keep a boy liking her for her. I see a girl who is dearly loved by many and she is willing to help them. I see a girl who tries to hide her emotions so that she may be strong for her family as they go through tough times. I see a girl who wants a normal life so she can make her family proud." E.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a human being who is known for a million things that are not true. My situation is unique. I see a guy playing the role of the popular kid yet who just wants one friend to be close to. I see a guy who appears to have it all together with a bright future but who actually has nothing in life figured out. I also see a guy who tries his best and loves more than he knows how to show. One day, I want to look in the mirror and see God through me." C.
"When I look in the mirror, I see someone with a good personality. I see a head-strong young Christian girl with a kind heart and joyful spirit. She loves to smile to hide the pain, the sadness, and the insecurities. Beyond her smile hides where she has been and has traveled to where she is now. Very few see what is beyond the surface. However, I want to improve what I see! I would rather see someone who accepts their circumstances because without God, I would not have made it this far. Once I learn, I'll be a better person and do better in whatever I do. This girl thanks the Lord daily for who she is, whether there is room for improvement or not, because I am created in God's image and I AM WHO I AM!" T.
Applicable quote of the day: "A man has only one escape from his old self: to see a different self in the mirror of some woman's eyes."Clare Boothe Luce