The memory verse we learned today in all five of my classes was 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 strong, beautiful girl who is ready to take on the world. I see someone who longs to have a strong foundation and relationship with Christ. She struggles sometimes with making her parents happy, and God happy. She is not willing to back down and wants to live her best life. She tries her very best everyday.
I see a shadow of myself looking at me telling me I have wronged someone. I see myself asking whether it's the real me telling myself this. Sometimes I see myself beautiful in the mirror but I am ugly inside. Every day I still see that shadow telling me I have wronged someone but I finally came to know that I have wronged no one but myself by making that shadow. I see myself saying what good can I do to make Jesus happy not knowing that the answer is in front of me, that shadow of myself. I can correct myself to make God happy. I can now see myself bringing that shadow into the light of God’s greatness.
When I look in the mirror, I see what I tell people I am: A future world famous cardiovascular surgeon, a lineman in football, a home run hitter in baseball, and a Christian. But I also see what many don’t see, I am a kid secretly trying to find God and a consistent relationship with him. When I hang around my church friends, I am a good church boy, but some of my friends from school can see I don’t act the same around both sides.
When I look in the mirror I see a boy who tries to be cool like his friends. But when I look closer, I see my parents through me and I also see the love of basketball and a student for God. Bringing it out is all determined by the outside world’s impact on me. But looking even more inside of me is a little boy who tries to love his family while also trying to impress his friends at the same time.
When I look in the mirror I see a girl who has a vague sense of what she wants to do in life. She knows that she has the potential to do wonderful things---teach, write, or care for people- but she never seems to try hard enough. She isn’t motivated, that's all. She wants to do good in the world, but needs to find her purpose. I see a girl who is lost, and needs an anchor.
The person I see in the mirror is a person who wants to be known by the world. This person wants to be the popular, smart, and successful but is too shy to speak up. I see an insecure person who believes they need companionship to be happy but dreads being left alone. I see a person trying to break out of the mold people gave him but is struggling to remain strong. This person wants to cry out in pain and anguish but cannot. I see his ambitions and his dreams slowly fading away, but he refuses to let them slip away from him. The person is slowly falling apart, hoping God will answer his call. The man finally calls out and says, “What is the purpose of my life?” This is who I see in the mirror.
When I look in the mirror I see someone who is anxious. A girl who is anxious to know her future but promises to live for the moment. I see a Christian young lady with a lot of potential. I also see a girl who is apprehensive of what the future may bring. I see a beautiful girl who has some flaws, but they are all refined in her beauty. I see a girl who is loving of her family, loving of herself, and loving of her God because it is through him that she has strength. I see a girl who’s athletic enough, intelligent and musically gifted and who tries her best to give all the glory to God.
When I look in the mirror I see an acne covered face that wants to fit in. I see a mask covering over who I really am but when I break that mask, I see a shy, lazy, smart person. I know I can do anything but don’t because I am afraid. I could easily make the top 10 of my class but I am too busy trying to make myself look good. What I see in the mirror is very different than who I want to be, but I was given talents, skills, and abilities to be strong. I just have to use them and take off the mask that hides who I really am.
Applicable quote of the day:
“ 'Many truths which are not believed are called lies,' the Laughing Beast said. 'Mirrors do not themselves lie unless they have been enchanted. Ordinary mirrors merely reflect what is revealed to them. People lie and mirrors reflect people. If your mother feared mirrors in your land, she feared herself.' ”
― Isobelle Carmody, Greylands
― Isobelle Carmody, Greylands
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