Sawubona: I See You

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

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