In the blink of an eye, I see it.  I mean, I see her.  Lying there in the nursing home bed, a slip of a woman, a mere shadow of what once was … sadly alone.  And I take notice.  Is this why I’ve come here today? 

A wellspring within me stirs and the words of my mouth are deep waters as I hear myself say, “Friend, you are not alone, you are not forgotten, you are not invisible … I see you.

And she weeps.

Sawubona.  An ancient greeting that means “I see you” in the Zulu community in South Africa.

Sawubona.  All my attention is on you.  I see you, you are important to me and I value you.  I see your hopes, your dreams, your failures and your fears.  You are right in front of my face.  Face-to-Face. 

I am present.

The ancient Prophet and Deliverer of Israel understood sawubona.  “The Lord would speak with Moses face-to-face, as one speaks to a friend”, the Torah reveals. There is no Hebrew word for presence (as in the Presence of G-d), but only the word face.  Yahweh, the great I AM, and Moses spoke to one another face-to-face.

I AM present.

Who do I know that doesn’t desire sawubona?  To be seen; to be heard without judgment; fully known–the good, the bad and the ugly–and accepted. Yet, is sawubona even possible in today’s digital world where face-to-face is replaced by FaceBook and FaceTime?

I believe there is a God whose thoughts towards me—and you—are good.  The music of His thoughts plays throughout the earth … in the gentle breeze, the bubbling brook, the chirping birds, the twinkling stars … “You are not alone, you are not forgotten, you are not invisible. I see you.

You are right in front of my face, friend.

And with that, I enter into the sacred space of spiritual sawubona:  Face-to-Face with the One who knows me best—and loves me anyway—free to join the conversation, as one speaks to a friend.

Love & Peace,

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, …”. John 15:15 KJV

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on

5 thoughts on “Sawubona: I See You

  1. Today I have been focusing on seeing Jesus face to face. When I woke up this morning I turned on Joyce Meyer. She said in the last 2 years she has conquered the feeling of discontent by focusing on Jesus face to face and living daily in His Presence.I made a decision! Today I will not focus on what is going on in the world and place all my attention on Jesus. I needed a way to stay focused. I heard of a way to do just that. When reading the Bible, make it personal by inserting my name. Here’s an example! John 3:16 For God so loved (Kathleen) that He gave His only begotten son that (Kathleen) believing in Him shall have eternal life. Ephesians 2: 6-7 And God raised (Kathleen) up with Christ and seated (Kathleen) with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. In order that in the coming ages, He might show the incomparable riches of His grace expressed in His kindness to (Kathleen) in Christ Jesus. I did this with many more scriptures and did this make a huge difference in my day. I’m sure you all have great ways of focusing on Jesus. Please share so I can grow deeper! Thanks for sharing Lois!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah Lois, Now I have a word to go with what I have had the immense pleasure of experiencing much of my life in solitude times mostly and sometimes unexpected mid crisis when I have drifted. “SAWUBONA”
    Thank you so much for this post, it has very deep meanings to a personal dry spell of life

    Liked by 1 person

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