The name for this little pin cushion came about as I reflected upon the stress of the COVID-19 season. The word “selah” is Hebrew in origin, finding its most notable use among the Psalms in the Bible. It is the word for “pause.” Generally used to denote a break in music, it literally translates to “suspension.”
How poignant that word feels right now in the midst of the suspension of so much that is familiar and dear. The suspension of a job, a routine, a schedule, an event. In some way or another, we have all been impacted by the suspension of something in our lives during this season. Some have felt it much more keenly than others.
I venture to say that a good number of us would likely prefer the suspension to end sooner than later. Maybe the reason for this is because hidden within this word “suspension” lurks that uncomfortable feeling of “suspense.” I think we can all relate to that.
However, the primary reason for highlighting this word “selah” has to do with its other definition. It also means “pause.” This word denotes consideration, reflection, observation. Viewed in this light, the suspense becomes effectively disabled. While a suspension has the denotation of something taken away, a pause feels like a gift. I wonder how our perspective might shift if we considered the COVID-19 season from this vantage point.
What gift might be hidden within the apparent confines of a pause?
This question has mulled around in my mind a lot these days. As I consider it, I find myself in a posture of openness to what this season might hold. While I haven’t arrived at any grand revelations, I feel as though I’m on to something. And, rather than trying to rush the process or squeeze meaning out of something, I pause. I stitch. In stitching I subconsciously let go of the excess baggage that tends to cloud out the clarity I yearn for. I experience “selah.”
In the spirit of my own personal reflection, I created this pattern. I have always held that stitching is a gift. It has always reflected back to me the sense that we were all stitched together by a loving Creator who delights in His creation.
As such, this little pattern is my small way of attempting to give the gift of a pause to those who might need it. Creating something beautiful out of mere needle and thread simply does something to the soul. My hope is that you experience a little bit of it when you make this pin cushion.