I’ve just learned this Hebrew word this morning, and its definition alone is transforming. It’s all over the Psalms, and I always thought it was David’s way of inserting “Amens!” here and there.
Instead, Selah means, “pause,” “stop and listen,” and even “pause and think calmly of that.”
How often do we do that? How often do we make time for that?
Mary Oliver reminds me of this need for and honest celebration of Selah, especially as I was re-reading some of her poetry from her collection Thirst this early morn — the first day of Advent.
One of my favorite poems of hers is “Praying,” and to me it speaks both to this advent season and this notion of Selah.
All we humans can/should do is pause and wake up to the beauty – the expanse of gifts around and among us. It has nothing to do with what we do or achieve, but it has everything to do with grace. Let us “think calmly of that.”
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.