Jaewoo Kim was recently in South Africa, leading worship with several others in our Multicultural Worship Leaders Network. While there, he was impacted by a traditional Zulu greeting, which he brought back to share with us.
Sawubona literally means “I see you.” It takes the place of “Hello” but means a lot more. It says, “I recognize your dignity as a person. I see your humanity and respect you.”
The response is equally powerful. Ngikhona means “I am here.” I am fully present with you. I bring all of who I am to this place and this moment.
I am reminded of the many times we read in scripture that Jesus saw someone. [Try doing some research on this!] Before he felt compassion, before any reconciling action of praying, healing, teaching, or otherwise…Jesus first saw those around him. How could you take the time to see someone today and let them know that you see them? Sawubona.
And, may we be fully present where we are…undistracted by the past or the future or the elsewhere. What can you do to be fully present today? Ngikhona.
How could you incorporate these words and this concept in the greeting time at your church or worshiping community in the near future? How can you help those you lead to see one another? And to be fully present?
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments here!