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 doesn't feel accepted. I see a girl who is judged without any chances. I see a girl who has pain in her heart, but looks perfectly fine to society. I see a girl who can't be herself without someone saying something negative. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who struggles with herself. I see a girl with a bright future, but who can't see it yet. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who can't wait to go to college, and leave everything behind because even though she's only 15, she isn't happy where she is now. I see a girl, who at moments wants to cry her eyes out, but God gives her strength to walk on. I see a girl who's family loves her and she uses that to carry on everyday. I see a girl who wears make-up because she wants to hide all the pimples and dark spots on her face. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who smiles when someone gives her a compliment because she doesn't believe it herself. When I look in the mirror, I see an athlete who gives everything she has on the volleyball court, even though politics are played and the game became unfair. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl trying to become a young lady. I see a girl who is open with others, but always ends up getting hurt. I see a girl who is used and abused verbally by others. When I look in the mirror, I see me. -B
When I look in the mirror, I see someone who is really ready to fulfill his purpose in life. I see a very good looking kid who is very wise and mature, and who isn't afraid to follow his own path away from his parents. I see a kid who truly wants to help others and make sure at the end of the day they are OK. I see a kid who is afraid of not making it to college, but not afraid of death. I see someone who loves this life no matter how many trials and problems he has been through. I see someone who may not be extremely book smart and is lazy sometimes. I do see someone who is really ready to change the world and is confident he can. -M
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl with high expectations and dreams for herself, but is unsure if she is going to ever accomplish them. I see someone who finally stopped letting her insecurities kept her from being herself. I see someone who is surrounded by great family , friends, and most importantly the love of God. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who tries to make almost every decision benefit her future, even though people often question them. When I look in the mirror, I see ME! -K
When I look in the mirror, I see a miracle- a child who wasn't supposed to be here on Earth. My mother was barren, but she prayed to God to give her another chance, so God put me here on Earth. I look in the mirror and see myself failing, but I know I'm smart, only too lazy. I see a young man who is good in sports, but now struggling to keep up, a young man who is going to grow up and have children and tell them my past. I know God has a plan for me so I will follow it, and when I am down, I will remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. -R
When I look in the mirror, I see a young girl who is unsure about her future, but does a great job of covering up that fear. I see a girl who has a profound love for God, her family, and the game of basketball. I see someone who strives to be successful and wants to make her parents proud. What any people are unaware of is that this girl, in the mirror, is more than just a student-athlete.; she also loves music. I see a girl who plays the piano and the guitar, but is too shy to showcase her talents. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who wishes she had more self-confidence. -H
When I look in the mirror, at first, I see what everyone else says they see: a smart young man, a funny friend, the coolest older brother, a clever boy.... all that stuff. But when I look closer, I realize I don't know who it is looking back at me. I know who I want it to be: a hard working, honest, kind guy, but I don't see that in the person looking back at me. He's a stranger who lives his life without thinking about the past or future. Who is he and where will he go in life? I wish he would tell me who he is but he doesn't know me.- K
When I look in the mirror, I see braces, dark brown hair, and acne. I look inside my heart, the way God does, I see insecurity, lies, fear, shame, and a good-for-nothing. But in the very bottom tip, deep down, I see hope; I see the hunger of wanting to serve the Lord, but the bad overshadows it. I see a girl who tries; who tries to love, care, and serve, but can't do it for some reason. She's lost, confused, and cannot find her way. She's screaming but no one can hear her. And she forgets that she has the greatest thing in the world backing her up: her God. When I look in the mirror, I see brown skin, dark brown eyes, and a big nose. When I look inside my heart the way God does, I see a warrior. -C
"Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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