One memory verse we learn in all five of my classes 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 discuss the meaning and I bring up that Mom, in her late stages of Alzheimer's, did not recognize her own image. I tell 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 is allowed complete confidentiality and some years, I do not even read any that request privacy. My students are very honest; some of their reflections will choke you up as you see yourself during your teenage years. Over the next few nights, I'll run some of the responses of those who were willing to share; boys are in blue and girls are in pink. These will be a mixture of 8th graders-sophomores-juniors-seniors.
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is lost in this world. I see a girl who has a terrible past and millions of insecurities, even the smallest ones get to her. I see someone who is willing to help others and to keep them happy, even if it means she is not happy herself. She loves to smile and pretend like nothing is wrong. I see a girl who has a lot of things going for her in the future, but she has no clue where to start. I see someone who has failed her parents many times, and has made many mistakes. Most importantly, when I look in the mirror I see a daughter of Jesus Christ. -B
When I look in the mirror, I see a boy trapped in a man's body. I struggle. I feel pain. I can't keep up with myself. I see an individual with an encouraging future. I also see non-achieved goals, hopes, and dreams. I see a ladder with only a bottom step, none in between so I can reach my goals. With God being on my side, He completes the ladder, letting me know, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." -D
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who has a lot of talent but is afraid of failure. I see someone who tries to please everyone else, but seldom looks at her own needs. I see a girl who tries to be strong on the outside for those around her, but yet on the inside, she just wants to explode. I see someone who loves God with all her heart, but doesn't always know how to show it. I see someone that has a lot of potential, but doesn't always apply herself. I see someone who is different, someone who is intelligent, someone who is ME. -H
When I look in the mirror, I see a young man who has always wanted to know what his real parents look like. I see a young man who looks at other children having fun with their original parents, all along knowing I will never get that chance. I see a young man who is glad to another family that has accepted him since birth. I see a young man who is even happier to know that his family loves him and expects great things from him, and can see him having a successful career in the NFL. I see a young man who will be able to tell his life story when he gets in the league to other kids who wonder what I was like when I was little. -D
When I look in the mirror, I see a shy girl who is scared of what people might think about her. I see a girl who wants her parents to be proud of her; a girl with insecurities about her life. I see a girl who is not sure how to succeed in this country, especially when it is not her own country. I see a girl who tries not to cry in front of people but on her own, and tries to be strong for her family. I also see a girl who loves her family and God with all her heart, but sometimes doesn't know how to express it. I see a girl who will have a big future with her parents' support. -A
When I look in the mirror, I see a boy trying to become a man, a boy who has big dreams, but doesn't think he can fill those shoes. I see a boy who wants to be with the Lord, but who is too caught up in worldliness, like girls and things. I see someone who looks at his dad and doesn't know if he wants to be like him, who strives to make people happy but ends up messing it up. I see a boy who looks at girls in the wrong way, knowing it's wrong but can't seem to get his mind off worldly things- he thinks he is too deep into it, and people might call him a hypocrite. This is the young man I see. -P
"I love mirrors. They let one pass through the surface of things."
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