Selah: Pause and Reflect
The evening had cooled from the heat of the Florida sun. With butterfly kite in hand, the anticipation of my three-year old granddaughter was evident on her face.
Her chubby bare feet sunk into the plush, carpet of grass as the evenings breeze caught beneath her riot of curls. Perfect kite weather!
As Daddy and Papa prepared the kite-string she watched with eager anticipation; with Mama and Crème ready with phones to capture the experience. (*Crème is her sweet name for me- pronounced Cream.)
Moments later, we watched as she ran with wild-abandon through the now dew-covered grass. Clear delight and determination showing on her face. String in hand. Arms held high.
And then it happened. Lift off! The moment looked magical as the Monarch swooped towards the sky, it’s orange tails fluttering freely in the lazy evening breeze.
The freedom of her young heart glancing upward, enthralled with the wonder of string and kite, now airborne.
We each took turns, a rush of child-hood delight returning, as we raced breathlessly across the dewy grass. How good to hear our chorus of cheers and endless laughter.
As dusk settled in around us, the blue of day slowly turned into a magical gold.
Suddenly! My granddaughter stopped in her tracks.
Instantly the Monarch dropped. Forgotten.
“I hear a trumpet!” She said, pointing upward.
We all turned to listen to what her little ears were hearing.
As I reflect, I see the preciousness of this moment, as innocence and imagination collide in a 3-year-old’s heart and mind. Even now I wonder what made her look heavenward at the thought of a trumpet blast!
As our adult ears tuned into the sound she was hearing, it was hard to convince her imaginative mind to accept reality.
To tell her it was only the sound of a motorcycle on the highway seemed to lack the luster of her creative imagination. Maybe we should have left her in the magic of the moment, truth untold.
I can still see her looking heavenward as if she wasn’t sure if we were right in our assessment.
Pause and Reflect
There is something beautiful about a 3-year-old who stops their busy play to pause in reflection of what they have just heard.
Her pronouncement of what she heard made us all stop and give her undivided attention. To pause and consider.
How often in our busy schedules do we pause to reflect on something that has just been said, or pause to consider what is ahead or barely out of sight, just around the corner?
Although I have read many passages in scripture, I have never taken the time to stop and consider the meaning of the word Selah.
Selah appears seventy-four times in the Bible. Seventy-one of those times are in the Psalms and 3 are in the book of Habakkuk.
Although this word is up for theological debate, many think of it as a musical interlude.
An interlude interrupts. It brings about a change in tempo. It could be an insertion of a short dramatic presentation, a dance, or a musical composition that is inserted between the parts of a much longer composition; but all causing the listener to pause, rest, reflect and respond.
Selah: A musical interlude which causes one to pause, rest, reflect and respond.
Selah: To stop and reflect on what has happened or what is about to happen.
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.
He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. Selah
God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.
I can picture the singers of the Psalm quieting their voices. “Hush…”
Suddenly! The clash of cymbals split the silence. Selah.
At the next interlude a trumpet blast erupts! Putting an exclamation mark on the words that have just been sung; causing all who hear to lean forward in anticipation of what will happen next. Selah.
Now we are watching with rapt-attention. Ears attune to the meaning of the words. Heart engaged with the music. Eyes scanning the stage.
We are not disappointed as the silent movement of dancers reverently enter the isles with colorful, fluttering banners. All senses are on high alert, emotions filled with the site and sound of beauty, wonder and amazement. Hearts and hands lifted towards God in devotion and praise. Selah.
What will give you pause today?
What will cause you to stop and reflect?
What will cause your heart to respond in devotion and praise to God?
For my granddaughter it was the sound of a “trumpet” – what will it be for you and me today?
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN: DIFFERENT BY DESIGN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN
The majesty of God seen in a Florida sunset