Christian Life

A coronavirus selah

Ontario is officially holding in place for the next two weeks, and the news coming from places already doing so has made people twitchy here. Specters of instability, claustrophobia, boredom, and scarcity are sending ripples of fear through the collective unconscious.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Spending time in social isolation—for the greater good of our fellow humans, remember—isn’t prison. It isn’t a punishment. It’s not a life sentence.

Or it can be.

It’s all about perspective.

There’s this beautiful word in the Bible that appears primarily in Psalms, the book of songs and poems that contains the most achingly lovely and hugely terrifying descriptions of God.


Loosely translated, it means “pause and think on this,” and it always appears after a simple, yet profound statement.

“You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyous songs of salvation. Selah.” [Ps 32:7]

“The Lord of Armies is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.” [Ps 46:7]

“Trust him at all times, you people. Pour out your hearts in his presence. God is our refuge. Selah.” [Ps 62:8]

It’s an invitation to reflect on what you’ve just experienced. To look closely, to think deeply, to find hidden treasure.

This time of isolation is a worldwide invitation to selah.

We can choose to look at this extended time of staying home as a time of forcible restriction, limitation, deprivation, and incarceration.


We can see it as a time of pausing, reflecting, enjoying, and deepening. A time of creativity, connection, care, and closeness with God, others, and ourselves. A time of secure refuge.

It’s up to you.


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