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 girl who doesn't want to crack her shell and open up, a girl who thinks she is nothing more than a mistake. She just wants a place where she feels normal. I see a girl who thinks her dreams are out of reach but her family and friends push her up. With God's help, the feeling of loneliness disappears and her shell cracks a little more each day." K.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a guy who has much more than he should. I see a young man who is overweight but surrounded by genuinely good people and friends who make him laugh at things both good and bad. I see a guy with a beautiful girlfriend and a wonderful family and a God who looks past all the stuff the world has given him to carry and sees His creation for what he is. I see a someone extremely lucky to be alive after all that has happened and a person with a heart that can love anyone." M.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a girl with dreams and aspirations that seem impossible. I see someone who throughout all the pain of carrying on a family name and not wanting to disappoint anyone still puts a smile on to encourage others. I see someone with insecurities, a girl who sometimes questions God on her purpose. I see someone talented and full of hope. I pray that someday I see a beautiful, successful woman who spreads the hope she had when she was a teenager with blemishes and was not the skinniest or the prettiest. When I look in the mirror, I see a mosaic, small things that don't matter being molded into something by the Everlasting Potter." G.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a boy who has anger inside of him. He is working on it and he knows he is not alone. He is hurt by how a man who promised to be like his dad just left him. But then again, I see a young man who doesn't care about his past but is striving to be like David who had the heart of God. I see a young man who wants to be "I'm Third" and to serve with a gentle heart and who loves others as Christ does. I see someone who has the excitement to spread the Gospel. I see a young man who wants to know his real parents and to forgive them for leaving him in a foster home at the age of four." J.
"When I look in the mirror, I see someone whose past has been terrible and it has come to her present. But even through the hardest times, I see a girl who tries to do her best and show that she loves the people who make up her life; someone who admires the strong and learns from her flaws; someone who has kept her feelings to herself so she will not hurt others; someone who hides in her room so that she won't see the disappointment in her father's eyes but through it all, she tries her best to please him. I see someone who shows love and kindness to others, no matter who they are." A.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a boy who has tried his best to change into a man but cannot get rid of the kid inside; someone who strives to make everyone else happy without caring about the consequences they hold. I see someone who tries to do his best in school because his parents drive him there after a twelve hour shift at work. I shake my head sometimes because I am ashamed of the things I have done in the past and wish I could go back in time to relive those opportunities." L.
Applicable quote of the day:
“I have this phobia: I don't like mirrors. And I don't watch myself on television. If anything comes on, I make them shut it off, or I leave the room.”