Responding gratefully to 

in 25 minutes or less ( leaves a lot to be desired on the typing front.)

a lot to be desired… It has been that kind of day, an epic fail in my primary heart relationship. “Would that the confessional were down some long narrow hallway, where I could go to fix myself before ‘gracing’ you with my presence”…but then that’s not the meaning of grace.” Today, I find grace-saving in the, ‘I see you’ – sanbonani. It’s a Zulu word that means literally that, “I see you,” used in common greeting. I’ve come to appreciate it as the  greeting God reserves for us in moments of need.

I see you, in all the muck and mire of your day, and I am glad that you are here now, waiting on me. I see you, in the sinful dawn before you know me, and I welcome you to come to me. I see you, in the struggle to define who you are, already knowing the answer, and it thrills me. I see you in the sorrow of today’s sin, and my hand of redemption lifts the scar. I see you in the uncertainty of what comes next, and we both know I am already unwrapping good inside the bad. I see you while my Spirit still hovered over the darkness, and I long to make you holy. I see you through the tearing of the veil. I see.


8 thoughts on “Sanbonani

  1. Stevey says:

    Thank you for this, friend. I had not heard that word, sanbonani, before, but it is now writ large across my journal. There is so much grace in the way that He sees us and knows us completely, and yet loves us anyway.
    [visiting from Sarah Bessey’s synchroblog]

    • Thanks, Stevey. I agree. This word has become a frequent reminder of that grace-tinged view that God has of us. Visited your blog, and looks like you have opportunity to be a vessel of that to others. Godspeed.

  2. I just stopped by courtesy of another of Sarah Bessey’s wonderful ideas, and what a blessing this word is to me today. I am going to write in lipstick on my bathroom mirror so I can learn it and know it, and try to find a way to practice it in this oh, so stiff and hidden Americana I live in (the very worst part, Scandinavian upper Midwest where anything less than “fine, thank you” is simply bad manners).

    • Hi Genevieve. That’s why I love this word – it goes way beyond how most of us greet, and the reception we have for one another as well. Just like God does. I hope you feel God’s knowing and treasuring of you today.

  3. Jenn LeBow says:

    Isn’t this what we all want? To be seen, understood, greeted warmly? Sanbonani. Love it. Thanks for sharing this!

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