Here To Be Seen

Cultures develop their own unique greetings. In American culture, we shake hands or hug. In Italian or Arabic culture, they kiss. Asians prefer to bow. Maoris touch noses.

High-fives, fist-bumps, and dance-moves all have their place, too.

I See YouIf we met each other in Zulu culture, you would likely say sawubona: “I see you.”

It declares, “I’m focused. I’m listening. I’m fully attentive to you.” The word has power. It transcends a simple hello. It says more than howdy or gidday. It speaks to presence. Sawubona: “I see you.”

But here’s the twist.

Before you could, would, or should say sawubona, I ought to say sikhona: “I am here to be seen.” These three short syllables express my vulnerability. “I bring myself fully into this moment. I am what you see. I present myself to you without secrecy or duplicity or hypocrisy. I am here to be seen.”

First sikhona. “I am here to be seen.” Then sawubona. “I see you.” It’s rich. It invites relationship, in a way that “hi” does not.

The story of Scripture declares that God first walked in the Garden of Eden, then later walked in the Garden of Gethsemane. He became flesh and dwelt among us, that we might see Him. On one occasion, Jesus told His disciples, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). The Father whispered, through the Son, sikhona. “I am here to be seen.”

God has not hidden Himself from us. He reveals Himself through creation, and most fully through Christ. Even the Revelation affirms that in the end “the dwelling place of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them” (Revelation 21:3). Indeed, the glorious name of the eternal city will be YHWH-shammah: “The Lord is there.” Sikhona. “I am here to be seen.”

The only part of the biblical-human story that remains uncertain is whether or not we shall reply with a strong sawubona. “I see you.”

The work of Satan continues to blind the eyes of those in darkness. Veils continue to shroud the minds and hearts of the wicked and the complacent. Ignorance and denial continue to flow from the mouths of those who don’t see. Suffering sometimes shuts our eyes.

The coming of Christ (Christmas) provided the ultimate divine greeting. Sikhona. “I am here to be seen.”

What do you see or not see in this moment? Pause for a moment right now. Open your heart. Be truly Present. Perhaps today we can respond to Him: Sawubona. “I see you!”

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13 Responses to Here To Be Seen

  1. Sam Sublett says:

    Excellent as always. Enlightening and gives pause. Yes, Sikhona and Sawubona – is what I want and need. Open and honest with others in preparation of being open and honest with Him. A circle of Christian Life and Agape Love.

  2. Cheri Cancelliere says:

    So beautiful! Thank you and may your Christmas be blessed.

  3. Barry Thygesen says:

    Good morning David, thank you for this enlightening and refreshing in sights. Can you imagine how this greeting would impact our marriage & families or even in the work place would enrich and encourage one another! I’ll apply this to my devotional time each day.
    Blessings on your self and family over this Christmas season.

  4. Nathan McElveney says:

    Thanks for sharing this, David. So incredibly helpful, especially at this time of year.
    God bless,

  5. Scott Wallace says:

    Cool! I was reading earlier this week that Nazareth is in Zebulun. Leah named her sixth son Zebulun which means “habitation” because she hoped that her husband Jacob would now dwell with her since she had given him six sons. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary in the land of “habitation” because the virgin will be with child and he shall be called Emmanuel, God with us. David, may you and your family experience Emmanuel this Christmas!

  6. In a world of fake news, the call to willing authenticity is welcomed. Thank you!

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