Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalm 32:7 King James Version (KJV)
A recent sermon series was delivered based on the extended reflections of Walter Brueggemann. What was meaningful was it was not just the sermons, it was the liturgy. We sung the psalms.
The question for me was how have the psalms been critical in my life? The answer is that they have been a source of healing. They have been present in times of lament, times of celebration and times of reflection.
In October 2012, I was asked to give an OB/GYN Grand Rounds lecture at East Tennessee State University I chose as a title, “Pause, Reflect, Heal”; the words that had been placed on the doorposts of each patient room. Those words were based on the Hebrew word “Selah” that is found at the end of many of the Psalms.
That lecture was transported/translated into “Selah Rounds” while at Tenwek Hospital, Kenya. Briefly stated, the clinical team would Pause/Pray on entry to the patient’s room, Reflect on the clinical information and look for the healing connection with the patient, family and community. It would be repeated multiple times as we went by the bedside of each patient. Frequently, we would be interrupted, surprised and sometimes saddened as we returned to that ritual. Each day another connection would be added to the care narrative.
What I have learned, is that “Selah” can happen in the psalms of our lives. It is an ancient and beautiful directive to our healing.
Thanks be to God, Selah
Brueggemann, W. (2002). Spirituality of the Psalms. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Hage, M. L. (2013). Selah
Hage, M. L. (2013). Rounds are Over!