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 warrior. I see a warrior in a constant battle between good and bad. I see the armor of God laying next to me. I watch myself as I put it on and prepare for war. I see myself standing tall and proud as I grab my sword. When I finish daydreaming, I see reality in the mirror. I don't see myself putting on the armor of God, but I see myself talking it off. I don't see myself taking hold of my sword, but putting it away instead. I look at myself and wonder which side I am really on. -M
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is picked on because she may not always come off as nice or sweet enough. I see someone who chickens out as soon as that starts to happen, and runs to her parents begging them to let her change schools instead of just standing up for herself. And in the end, finds herself in the same situation as before, at her new school. I see someone who doesn't like most of the things other people do, and because of that she feels left out. I see someone who always does the things she loves, even if it's not the "cool thing" to do. She is just waiting for someone else who likes the same things she likes to comes along so she can have a real friendship, instead of just having a fake one by pretending she likes something she really doesn't. -D
When I look in the mirror, I see a young boy who tries to meet all of his mom's expectations, someone who tries to help his mom with anything he can. I see someone who loves his mom and always will. I see a young man trying to do his best in school, but seems to never get it. I see a young man who was raised by a single-parent because his father didn't care about him, so he left when he was five. I see a person struggling to keep on the right track with God, but always seems to fail. I see a person who is happy and very energetic on the outside, but is very sad and always holds in his feelings. That is the person I see in the mirror. -I
When I look in the mirror, I see someone tall. I see someone who doesn't trust guys just because her dad wasn't in her life, and each male figure that was placed in her life always ran out on her. When I look in the mirror, I see a devoted girl trying to make sure she is always trying her hardest at school, at home, and in sports so when she sees her sister again she'll be proud to say, "That's my big sis!" Now, every time I look in the mirror, I see a girl trying to get stronger everyday with a mom struggling with money, but knows how to work for it. I see my mom by my side no matter the pain we go through. When I look in the mirror, I see a little kid trying to get by in the world, not knowing if she has friends by her side. For the first time, when I look in the mirror, I not only see myself but the people in my life who I care most about. -S
When I look in the mirror, I see a teenager who wants to move on in life. I am tired of the teenage stereotype that always affects what adults' think of me. I am actually responsible, caring, and willing to work hard in my duties despite what people assume by their first glance. I also see a boy who needs more confidence in himself, so that he can change the problems he has in his life. I see a boy who wants to be a true Christian, but doesn't put God first in his life. I see a boy who want to be successful in life and who is willing to put in the required effort. I also see a boy who is impatient when other people make mistakes, and needs to work on not getting angry with them. I see a boy who wants to live up to God's plan. -G
When I look in the mirror, I see a bright, bubbly young girl who never loses a smile. I see someone who has been hurt in the past, but never lets that slow her down. I see someone who is ready to be on her own, but is terribly afraid of the future. I see someone who is extremely emotional, yet acts like "I don't care" most of the time. I see someone who is intelligent and someone who is stubborn. I see someone who has guilt and regret for things done in the past. I see someone who tries to do the right thing, but is sometimes tempted by the wrong things. I see someone who enjoys the love and time she spends with her family and friends. I see someone who is excited for what the world has to offer. I see a girl who loves God and loves to learn new things about His word. I see a girl ready to step out and spread her wings. -E
When I look in the mirror, I see a young man who loves God so much, and he continually tells God how much he really loves Him. When I look in the mirror, I also see a young man who continues to look back on his horrible past. Instead of looking at the beautiful future laid out right in front of him, he doesn't notice it. When I look in the mirror, I see a hard-working young man with all the potential in the world. And that potential will reach the top of the world, once he looks at everything that's in front of him and not what's behind him. When I look in the mirror, I see a young man with an outstanding dream, but he believes it's not only a dream but his reality. When I look in the mirror, I start to see a MAN, who has started to push for his potential and let his past go. So now I will walk away and come back later and not see him at all anymore...because that man is on the top of the world. -D
Applicable quote of the day:
"A beautiful woman should break her mirror early."
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