God Who Sees Us

A New Hymn/Anthem

By Gloria Fanchiang

“God Who Sees Us” is a lament anthem I wrote in 2021 in response to the rise of anti-Asian racism and violence during the covid-19 pandemic. Written from an Asian American context, the song is relevant for all communities facing injustice and on the journey toward liberation. The music may be used throughout the year for any justice-themed services, during the Advent and Lenten seasons, and during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month in May.

I started writing the piece after learning of Asian elders being attacked in the Bay Area, and I finished the song shortly after the Atlanta spa shootings, where six women of Asian descent were murdered. As an Asian American woman, I was devastated by these horrifying events. Thank God for the gift of music and this particular song to be an outlet and healing balm for myself and others.

The story of Hagar inspires the lyrics in Genesis 16. Hagar was an enslaved woman and an ethnic minority in her community. She was profoundly oppressed and forgotten by her world, but God sought her out and saw her plight. Her story gave me much comfort and hope that God similarly saw the suffering of Asian Americans.

For the song’s original recording, I collaborated with Feifei Yang, a professional erhuist or player of the erhu, to add an erhu part as a tribute to my ethnic roots. The erhu is a Chinese string instrument that my great-grandfather played, and it can produce a distinct tone that sounds like weeping. As we recorded the song, adding the erhu felt like a significant risk since the instrument is uncommon in the US, especially in church music. But I’m so glad that people of various ethnic backgrounds have shared how the erhu part moved them.

I also incorporated a choir as an homage to Black gospel music, which has inspired me. I hope my song allows people to lament communally and hope for a better tomorrow, as many gospel songs do.

It’s been such a blessing to see how far the song has traveled, and it is now available for purchase as a choral anthem with keyboard and guitar as well as erhu, which can be substituted by violin.

You can listen to the original recording of the song. 

Other versions of the song are available on YouTube, as well as Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

“God Who Sees Us” by Gloria Fanchiang

Copyright © 2023 GIA Publications, Inc.

Reproduced by permission of GIA Publications, Inc. Any further reproduction requires permission from the publisher.

For congregational reprint permission, contact One License.

Verse 1:

We have been forgotten and abandoned

Cast aside, erased, and counted out

Centuries of hatred and exclusion

Stories lost and rarely talked about

Yet the poorest are Your chosen

Your favored are the least

You are nearest to the outcast

They are the ones You seek

Refrain 1:

You are the God who sees us

You are the God who hears

You know we long for justice

You witness all our tears

Though the world ignores our pain

Our cries to You are not in vain

You see us, God

You see us and You hear

Verse 2:

God, You know the pain of losing family

Jesus, You are weeping with us now

As we face oppression, blame and violence

You’re drawing near to comfort, hear us out

You revealed Yourself to Hagar

A foreign girl enslaved

In her time of desperation

You met her on the way

Refrain 1 (repeated)


You see Yourself within us

You see us with delight

Your precious, holy children

Heirs of the Most High

You see Your own reflection

The very face of God

In Your beautiful creation

A work inspiring awe

Refrain 2:

You are the God who sees us

You are the God who hears

You promise us a new day

When there are no more tears

Though we struggle now in pain

You will redeem all hurt and shame

You see us and You strengthen us

You see us and You empower us

You see us God, El Roi

And You hear.


Gloria Fanchiang is a singer/songwriter, recording artist, producer, and worship leader based in Los Angeles, California. Gloria holds a Certificate of Christian Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, and she was named a Lovelace Scholar in 2019 by the Hymn Society. Gloria’s music was featured at the 2022 Urbana Missions Conference and the 2022 Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries Consultation. She is a second-generation Taiwanese American and is passionate about decolonizing worship for Asian Americans through her original worship music and blog on AAPI worship resources. Connect with Gloria on social media @glofanmusic and learn more about her at gloriafanchiang.com.


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