Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Reflection

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.

When I look in a mirror, I see a puzzle. I see a boy who has no idea what solution may come to result. I am always thinking what I can do to solve the puzzle because I still may be looking for the pieces. I could find the answer right now but I always skip steps.

When I look in the mirror, I see a girl going crazy because she tries to do so much, a girl who wants to be great at everything. I see a girl who stresses way too much about small things and is more often than not, too hard on herself. I see a girl with a great family, a good school, and an amazing best friend. She wants to just hurry and grow up but people keep telling her to slow down and enjoy the present. I see a girl who cares more than she lets on about how she looks and what people think of her. I see her someone surrounded by good people who teach her to be more patient and kind. I see a girl who has a problem with using too much sarcasm. But mostly, I see a happy girl who loves and is thankful for what she has.

In the mirror, I see a young man who believes his dreams are always too far away to touch. In the mirror, I see a boy scared of all the ways he could screw life up. In the mirror, I see a simple human who has learned to fear God but is scared out of his mind by Him. In the mirror, I see a teenager trying to learn to be a good man, but never seeming to succeed. Every time I look in the mirror, I always hope to see someone more handsome, taller, smarter, kinder, and better with emotion. But all I see is ME.

What I see in the mirror… may be a girl who is lost and is just waiting to be found. I see a girl who is just waiting to have inner peace within herself. I see a girl who knows that she is not perfect or pretty but is content with who she is. I see a daughter, sister, and friend who does not want to disappoint those she cares about. I see a girl who hides behind a mask and when she takes it off, it's a girl who has been through so much and just waiting for when she will finally break down. I see a girl who is a master at faking smiles and pretending that everything is okay, when in actuality, it isn’t okay. She just doesn’t want anyone to worry about her. I see a girl who wants to be happy with herself without having to put a mask on. I wish she wasn’t like this but what can she do? She’s looking at a woman in the mirror who is just waiting to break out.

When I look in the mirror, I see a child who has a lack of respect for his parents. I see a person who is draped in bitterness, rage, and anger. I see a person who hides behind a mask of comedy and can never express his feelings. I see a boy who turns away from God and cares for himself. I see a boy who is numb to the feelings of death. I see a child who is too prideful. I see a person who cannot bear restraint. I will see a man who will be faithful to his God, wife, and children. I cannot see God abandoning me.

Mirrors are a place of reflection. We all see different things. When I look into the mirror, I see a child striving for greatness. I see curiosity in this child. The child has a lack of knowledge. I see a child who is angry if he fails at anything. This child lacks self control. He has good intentions, but doesn’t act as good as those intentions. I see a boy who gets better everyday, a child worn down with stress but who keeps going. Most of all, I see this child as unique and special. I see God’s child.

Applicable quote of the day:
“I have this phobia: I don't like mirrors. And I don't watch myself on television. If anything comes on, I make them shut it off, or I leave the room.”
Pamela Anderson 

*Picture is from www.margiewarrell.com*

God bless, Steve Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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