(This is the fifth 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 face with acne, an average body, and nothing that stands out physically in a good way. I see an average young man. I see the ugly past and a bright future. I see a great past and an ugly future. I see the potential and desires to do the good things to get to a good place but I also see the laziness and exhausted heart from doing things to make others happy before myself. I see caring, kindness, and respect. I see hatred, sorrow, sin, and disrespect. I see God and Father. I see the heathen devil. I see what I want and what I have. I see a good young man who loves God and wants the best for himself and others." J.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a beautiful young lady who is growing up to do things that God wants her to do. I see a girl who makes many mistakes and has much room for improvement. I see God's creation who is growing up and still becoming many things. Most importantly, I see a girl with many hidden talents who is finding her way in life." J.
"When I look in the mirror, I see someone who goes through much pain, someone who wants to do better. I see someone who many people don't like, someone who has to fight constantly. I see someone who hates himself, someone who wants to get away and just be by himself for a long time. I see someone who will fight for his dream no matter what people think. But then, I see someone who knows they will be number 1 someday; someone who loves most people in his life. I see someone who loves himself." B.
"When I look in the mirror, I see horrible actions hidden by a pretty face. Although I may look sweet and innocent, I make bad decisions in my everyday life. As David said, 'Men judge the outward appearance but God judges the heart.' I try my absolute hardest everyday to become a better person and hopefully, those actions will show but as of today, my dreadful past is all I see when I look in the mirror." L.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a young boy who is talented but who has his faults. He's a little immature but that is in front of people. Sometimes, I see the real me; a nice, kind hearted boy who likes to have fun. I don't act the same way with my friends as I do when I am home. Few people, if any, know the real me. When I look in the mirror, I see a handsome young man who wants to do many things with his life. His talents will take him somewhere- he just has to believe in himself." B. "When I look in the mirror, I see a small boy with little confidence. I hide in the shadows of my past and try not to look at the future. That person I see in the mirror has many faults and insecurities, a small child hidden in the shadows, waiting for his life and path to change so he may see the future bright and true ahead as he strive towards it. In this mirror, I see my true self lingering in the dark waiting for a fire to light the way." N.
Applicable quote of the day: "I'd rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous.”Ani Difranco