The memory verse we learned Tuesday 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-freshmen-sophomores-juniors-seniors.
When I look in the mirror, I see a young man trying to learn what it takes to be a successful adult. I see a young man who has spent most of his life trying to divide his time between school, sports, and family, but not always succeeding. I see a young man who needs to learn how to be grateful for what he has and not want every single thing he sees. I see a young boy who still has not gotten over the fact that he has moved into a private school in order to somewhat follow the steps of his older brother. I see a young man whose parents' dreams are to see their children do something meaningful with their lives in order to make them proud. When I look in the mirror, I see me.
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is always putting herself down. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is always changing her mind and opinions. I see a girl who loves her family and depends on them for stability. I see a girl who is beautiful on the inside, but tries to hide it. When I look into the mirror, I see a girl who is constantly looking for something to smile about. I see a girl just looking for her place in this world. When I look in the mirror I see a girl who loves to have fun and be a kid.
When I look in a mirror, I see an athlete who cannot because of his grades; he's working towards it but he has to have people tell him to do it. When I look in the mirror I see my dad; he stands up for what he believes in. When I look in the mirror, I see a young American Bahamian trying to make his way through the world. When I look in the mirror, I see a dreamer. When I look in the mirror, I see a slacker who is lazy. When I look in a mirror I see an underdog. When I look at a mirror, I see a warrior of the Lord who only half-way does things.
When I look in the mirror, the first thing I see is the imperfections. I see the negative and try to cover them up. I see pimples, crazy hair, weird nose, big ears, and being too pale. But I see much deeper inside me is a shy, self-conscious girl, a girl afraid to show her feelings. I see a fake smile. I see my mom; I try to be like her. I see the bad things I have done to her; I see a girl trying to do everything good just to impress people. I see me trying to come out of my shell.
When I look in the mirror, I see a young man who has been given so much, but isn't always thankful for it. I see talents that aren't being used. I see happiness and no worry because God has given me loving friends and family. I see that I don’t always pray as much as I should and usually work on pleasing others over God. I see someone who loves God’s creation and always wants to be around it.
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who wants what she thinks she needs, instead of actually knowing what she wants. I sometimes see confusion and anxiety, but when I realize what I have, it turns into confidence and pride. When the mirror is clear, I see what I actually need to be and what I need to strive for. But, when the mirror is foggy, my insecurities build, that barrier that blinds me from what I need to strive for. When the mirror is broken, my spirit is, too. When I find a whole piece, that means part of my spirit is still alive. What I see- a girl who knows she wants, but who hides behind insecurities.
When I look in the mirror, I see someone who is relaxed; so relaxed that he cannot get up to go make more of himself. I see someone who is quite quiet because he has no words to say. I see someone who is unfocused- unfocused because he's thinking of what else he could be. Unfocused because there is someone else he would like to be and he's too comfortable to stay focused. Comfort is his struggle.
Applicable quote of the day: