Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mirrors and monsters

This past Sunday I substituted in a fourth grade class. I gave each student a piece of blue paper. On the paper was Mrs. Eddy's definition of man. Next I asked them to slide that paper into a clear sheet protecter. We were discussing the answer the lawyer gave to Jesus about how he interpreted the law of God. We are to love God with all our heart and mind and soul and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Each student was given a sheet of stickers with pictures of monsters. I asked them what they thought their heart represented and they said it was how you loved someone. So I asked for examples of times when they were not being loving. When we summed those up we could identify one of our monsters and they could place that sticker on the sheet protecter. We did this with all five and their answers and insights were wonderful. The sheet protecters were soon covered with little monsters. Now we slid the blue paper out and could see that it had not been touched at all by those monster-like qualities. It was perfect. They seemed to enjoy this exercise.

Thinking about it later I thought if I did this again I would go to the Dollar Store and find those 4" x 6" clear picture frames that you can put on your refrigerator. I would find a small mirror that fit inside and then they would actually be able to see their own reflection as we did this exercise. Should they be tempted to exhibit wrong behaviour or thinking they could remember the picture frame and mentally slide that image of themselves out to see the true reflection.

In this week's Bible Lesson about Truth there is a citation from Science and Health that would fit with this idea. "Objects utterly unlike the original do not reflect that original." That could have led into a discussion of man as the image and likeness, the exact reflection, of God, being only good. I like the idea that when we seem to be expressing something unloving or unkind, thinking something that was not what God was thinking, feeling bad or sad thoughts, using our strengths in the wrong way, we could just mentally slip that mirror out of the frame and see that the true reflection was always there, unchanged and untouched. The 'monsters' had no power to influence or harm. Only what was true was real.

Solomon relied on God to make right and just decisions. With all his heart and mind and soul. Jesus was always expressing truth in what he said and did, and in how he percieved those around him. And Paul, blinded by monstrous thoughts and actions, was able to change his ways and turn his life around. Truth is a wonderful thing and the effect of knowing the truth is blessing and healing.

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