I remember when they placed her slippery little body on my chest. She was warm and wet and sweet smelling.
I remember the way her Daddy held her that night, swaying with her like a slow dance. Not even knowing how many times they would sway just like that, as they’d dance in the kitchen when she was one, two, three, four…
Five. She turns five today.
I’m not sure how that’s possible, but somehow, a thousand nights of singing lullabies in the dark, rocking her in my arms, until her legs spilled over my arms, and even then, still trying to hold her like a baby, they all add up. And suddenly, you’re staring at her from across the table, like a little lady, and she’s telling you something, but you’re not even paying attention, because all you can think about is how grown up she is. And you’re searching her face, to find that baby face, the one you first loved, those first fragile days, home from the hospital.
Now, she moves like a cheetah through the house. So fast, she doesn’t even look where she’s going, until she crashes into something–and cries. It kept happening yesterday–she’d run and crash and cry. And then do it again.
“PAUSE!” I yelled, giving the referee time-out hand signal. She stumbled to a halt. And I bent down and pulled her close, “You need to slow down, and look where you’re going,” I said.
Her eyes are big and blue and deep, like two worlds without land, only ocean.
Sometimes she leaves me treading there.
We had to wait.
We had to pause.
It’s a musical term, found all throughout the Psalms.
It means pause, and reflect on what was just sung.
It can also mean a musical interlude.
God spoke, “Selah,” to me while I was still barren. I didn’t know if she was really a girl He was promising, or merely a state of mind He wanted me to have.
All I knew was in this quiet whisper of my heart, I heard:
Pause, and reflect.
And we did.
We got low, on our knees,
We moved slow, like the breeze,
And we listened to the pause.
The music of God.
Sometimes, these days, I’m moving so fast, I’m not even looking where I’m going. I’m running like a cheetah, from one thing to the next, trying to do more, and be more, one constant, wild blur of motion.
And I hear Him whisper, “Selah.”
And I pull her up into my lap. She’s not as small as she used to be. Her now 5-year-old body, long and lanky like mine, but still baby-soft. I hold her against my chest, the way I used to, and lean my cheek against her hair and breathe her in.