Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reflections, Scene II

The memory verse we learned last week 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.

I look in the mirror and see somebody who is insecure about himself and self-conscious about what he looks like. Someone who is too nervous to do anything right. I see someone who needs real friends but cannot find any.

When I look into the mirror, I see my aunt. I look away because the memories are too painful. But I look back and see a girl everyone thinks they know. I laugh because they are so wrong. I stare at the imperfections and shrug it off because I know imperfections create character. I look in the mirror and smile a crooked smile. I wipe the makeup off, wash my face, and wink at the person society does not approve of. My mirrored self is imperfectly perfect and I love it!

I look in the mirror and this is what I see, a boy with the ambition of Julius Caesar, but is not content with what blessings he has. I see a young man with a lot on his mind. I see a hypocrite, who sometimes can’t acknowledge his own faults. I see a stressed student who sometimes puts his grades before his well-being. I see someone who is never satisfied with his accomplishments. I see (and I hate to sound pretentious) the next John D. Rockerfeller.

When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is afraid of what the future holds for her. When I look into the mirror I see a girl who pretends to be mean just so people don’t see her as weak and sensitive. When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who hides her emotions from the people around her. I see a girl who cannot say no to the people she loves and cares about. But when I look deeper in the mirror, I see a girl who is one of God’s children and wants to be an inspiration to millions of people like God.

When I look in the mirror I see a young man holding on to God’s word even through the various struggles the devil throws at him. I see a boy who feels alone in his belief at school and doesn’t hang around because he doesn’t like to talk about the stuff some guys talk about. I see a survivor who continues to walk through the valley of the shadow of death even when it ensares him in its traps. I see him running trying to get out at no avail. I see a young man who slacks sometimes and stops to go back. He tries to keep going but sometimes has doubts. That is the person in the mirror in front of my face unless I turn my back on him.

When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is looked at with pity because of her home life. I see her struggling with confidence and trust. I see someone who is proud of what she has become and is somewhat ashamed to show it. I see a girl whose parents are divorced and can’t stand to be in the same room together. I see a girl who enjoys school too much because she knows what the real world is like. I see a girl who is afraid to have a relationship because of trust and self-control. I see someone who battles constantly with her dad, life, and school. I see a strong person who no longer wants to be looked at with pity but with admiration and happiness.

When I look into the mirror I see the things everyone else sees. The sunken eyes of a young man who rarely sleeps and someone who wishes he had a cool heart. Then I see what others don’t; the anguish in the eyes, the husk of a man who had dreams, a shattered memory of childhood and the good old days, and the expression of someone who works when the rest of the world sleeps. I see someone I am ashamed of yet someone who I know I cannot change. One who can’t forget what others seem to, a visibly shaken individual who just wants out. Then, I finally see the basics inside, fear, self-doubt, and lethargy. I see what I truly am, I see me.

Applicable quote of the day:
How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.

David Joseph Schwartz

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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