by Tyler Lemmons
I would like to share one of my favorite memories from the recently completed year 6 of Impact Mentoring. One week, through the suggestion of one of our mentors, we had a creative project in which all the pairs participated. The theme of the lesson was evaluating what type of image we have of ourselves based on the negative and positive voices in our heads. The kids were asked to identify what types of words their peers, teachers, parents, etc. have used to describe them, and how that has affected the types of words they would then use to describe themselves.
With this in mind, the kids got large pieces of butcher paper that they laid down on, their mentors tracing the outline of their bodies. They then created self-portraits where they spent much time creating their outfits (especially their shoes). The next part of the process was to fill the bottom part of the drawing with the negative words/voices that they hear about themselves, and fill the top part with the positive voices – the way they want to feel about themselves and how they want to be seen. The bottom was filled primarily with lies, while the top was filled with truth, the way God created and sees them. We then hung all the huge self-portraits around the room and had everyone gather for a group photo.
Some kids seemed embarrassed, wanting to take theirs down, but a lot of kids were proud of their work and liked the idea of leaving their portraits up for other kids throughout the week to see. The kids and adults alike really enjoyed walking around and reading what the other kids came up with. The bottom portion commonly held words like, “dumb”, “ugly”, and “mean”, while the top portion was filled with words like, “smart”, “kind”, and “good.” A lot of these pictures hung in the building for weeks, and I hope they reminded us to question the negative voices we all battle and remember who we are in God!