life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

I see you

A woman in the city, who was a sinner,

stood behind him at his feet, weeping,

and began to bathe his feet with her tears….

He said, “Do you see this woman?”

—Luke 7.37, 44

No, we do not see.

To one of Jesus’ most arresting questions,

we have to answer: we don’t see her.

We see our prejudices and stereotypes. W

e see our fears and projections.

We don’t see this woman;

we see what we think of her.

We see a sinner.

We see someone disrupting our dinner.

We see someone who makes us uncomfortable.

Which is to say, we see our judgment,

our expectations,

our discomfort.

We see our own stuff.

We don’t see her.
But Jesus saw this woman,

really saw her.

He saw her pain and her strength,

her gratitude, her courage,

her transformation.

He saw the precious value of her gift.

He saw her soul at work.

He saw God’s grace in her.
Jesus really saw people.

He saw who they were and knew their story,

not because he had ESP

but because he paid attention.

The woman at the well,

the bent over woman,

the rich man,


the woman who touched him in a crowd…

he really saw people because he wanted to. He

paid attention.

And there was healing in his seeing.

What he saw in people was not their flaws

but the mercy of God.

And seeing the grace was like sunlight on plants:

it made people heal and grow and bear fruit.
God, help me really see.

Help me set aside my feelings and judgments,

and see whole people,

your beloved,

precious souls.

Help me see myself:

help me notice my projections,

and name my fears and expectations;

help me confess my blinders

and set them aside so I can see.

Beloved, help me really see people,

really see your grace,

really see at all.

Beloved, I want to see.



Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

At dusk, by the irrigation ditch

gurgling past backyards near the highway,

locusts raise a maze of calls in cottonwoods.

A Spanish girl in a white party dress

trolls the levee by the muddy water

where her small sister plunks in stones.

Beyond a low adobe wall and a wrecked car

men are pitching horseshoes in a dusty lot.

Someone shouts as he clangs in a ringer.

Big winds buffet in ahead of a storm,

rocking the immense trees and whipping up

clouds of dust, wild leaves, and cottonwool.

In the moment when the locusts pause and the girl

presses her up-fluttering dress to her bony knees

you can hear a banjo, guitar, and fiddle

playing “The Mississippi Sawyer” inside a shack.

Moments like that, you can love this country.

“Passing through Albuquerque” by John Balaban

I wanna take this moment to look into your eyes.
Linger there with courage, allow your soul to rise
Feel your loving spirit
Touch your hidden dreams.
Let you know you’re not alone

that you’re finally seen…

Now’s there’s one less stranger in the world.

One less lonely heart in the night.

Lift your eyes and look at me

now there’s one less stranger in the world.

If you speak right from your heart
and let me do the same
If you allow my point of view
As we grow and change
If we both ask questions
to answers we seek
Then just sit in silence
allow our hearts to speak….

There’d be one less stranger in the world.
One less lonely heart in the night.
Lift your eyes and look at me
now there’s one less stranger in the world.




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