A memory verse we learned two weeks ago 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 blank. Like a vampire, I am a parasite to the earth. Taking advantage of every gift given to me. Too lazy to excel. My parents sacrifice for me and I honor them by not trying my hardest. When I look into the mirror, I am ashamed to see the invisible image of myself staring back into my soul knowing. I am too lazy for these things, and when I do them, it will probably be too late. I see a boy with wisdom and understanding of life, but also the ignorance of an adolescent.
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who has acne and who isn't gorgeous. I see a girl who doesn’t care what people say about her. She acts weird and always is a free spirit and always gets made fun of because of that. But, it doesn’t bother her because she doesn’t want to change for anyone. When I look at my heart, I see a girl who tries her best to be kind and never hurt anyone with words, but it's hard. I see a girl with a big heart who means well. Sometimes she says things she regrets and wishes she could turn back the clock and do it all over again. She gets annoyed and aggravated with people, but always forgives them. She feels guilt so easily. She turns to her mom to fix every problem even though she is strong enough to fix it herself. She has confidence to do things on her own but she usually just wants the extra help from her mom and God. This is because she wants to be exactly like her mom. She doesn’t know what she would do without her mom. She loves her so much and she is her inspiration. When I look in the mirror I see a strong, confident, young lady who doesn’t care what you say about her and doesn’t know what she would do without her mom. When I look in the mirror, I see me!
When I look in the mirror, I see an athlete. I see a young man who loves to do certain things but keeps them a secret because apparently “it's not cool”. I see a young man who makes good grades without studying but could be a straight A student if he only applied himself. I see a young man who has dreams of huge feats but sometimes doesn’t work hard enough to accomplish those feats. I see someone who knows the right thing to do but just doesn’t do it. I see someone who wants to do everything possible to please his parents. Most of all, I see a young man who is fighting an eternal battle with himself and is struggling for a victory.
When I look in a mirror I see a girl who is proud of herself and doesn’t care what others think of her. I see someone who is gifted in dance and music but has to hide it. She is also strong no matter what comes her way because she doesn’t want people to see her as weak. I see a girl who has had a rough past with family but looks toward the future because she knows she will not make the same mistakes and will care for her family. This girl is guarded and doesn’t let people see the real her, but if they can gain her trust, she shares her hopes and dreams with them.
When I look in the mirror, I see a very skinny white kid who is quick to judge, and always gives his opinion, whether he is right or wrong. Although he is quick to judge, he is scared of being judged. I see a boy who cannot live up to the academic achievements of his sister, and his parents are disappointed in that. I see a young man who tries to follow Christ to the best of his abilities, but always strays from the path of righteousness.
Applicable quote of the day:
“I leaned over the sink, closer to my reflection, and stare at myself hard. I don't know what I see. I don't even know what I want to see.”
― Nina LaCour
― Nina LaCour
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