So I have this thing about Ys.
Some of you know that, because you’ve been hanging out here with me a long time — clear back when hope began to present itself to me through that one letter, Y.
But many of you are new around here. And after I read Emily’s post the other day, I thought it might be good to tell you why I see Ys.
Why I seek Ys…
In 2009, I was in a head-on collision on an Iowa highway and came away with only a minor injury on my left leg. Moments before the crash, I was listening to a song by Chris Tomlin, a song that repeats the name Yahweh, over and over.
Well, when the doctor sewed up the wound in ER, it was in the shape of a Y. I thought… of course. Y for Yahweh.
It moved me to tears.
It felt as if Yahweh had marked me with His initial after blessing me with the miracle of getting out of that crash alive and whole. I declined plastic surgery to remove the scar. I wanted to keep my Y.
Sadly, the Y scar has faded over time.
But I still see Ys everywhere — hope finding me right where I am.
I see Ys in sidewalk cracks. Tree branches reaching heavenward. Airplane contrails and clouds. A branch on the ground. In the weeds. In the raised arms of a worshipper.
Last week, my (in)courage sister Emily wrote about how supernatural hope can present itself to us here in the natural world. Her sister, The Nester, finds feathers. Emily collects rocks.
Emily writes: “I don’t think there is anything mystical about feathers or rocks or anything else, but I do think we can choose to let anything remind us to believe, to remember, to hope.”
I choose to let the Ys remind me of Yahweh.
It’s been more than five years since that first Y, spotted on my leg. And it’s been thousands of Ys later. God continues to drop reminders of His presence all over His creation. They are simple reminders that point to jaw-dropping truth: God is actually and miraculously here. He is not an absentee landlord of Earth, or an off-site project manager, or the uncle who only remembers your birthday every other year. No, He is actually right here, with us. Emmanuel. God With Us.
I know that God isn’t the windmill. I don’t worship the windmill. Or the tree branch or the Y cracked into the sidewalk. But the symbol is the trigger to remember the very present nature of our God.
God knows we need everyday reminders and symbols to keep our scatter-brained selves Christ-focused. We only need to attend church on a Sunday morning to see that it works:
We see a cross; we think of Christ.
We smell grape juice or wine; we remember how sweet the gift of forgiveness.
Water = new life.
The smell of wax, a sanctuary.
A rainbow, God’s promise.
A dove, His Holy Spirit.
Nails, a Savior’s sacrifice.
They are all triggers: a candle flame, a favorite hymn, a loaf of bread, a pillar of cloud, an olive branch, a crown, a purple cloth, a gold band around the finger. They are visible markers of an invisible God. Symbols and triggers that point to something greater.
They are often found in more lowly places, far away from the decorated sanctuaries. Look at the craggy stones, and the dandelions, and the wiry spider webs, and the twinkling stars, and strutting peacocks. All of them, small miracles, … and reminders of the creative genius of a loving Father.
Our world is crammed with burning bushes in our backyards and basements and barns. At every Y-fork in the road, we have an opportunity to spy God. Can you see Him today?
What do you see, or collect, that reminds you of God’s presence in your life?
Read more encouraging word by Jennifer Dukes Lee in What Your Heart Needs To Know About Your Feet
Jennifer Dukes Lee used to cover crime, politics, and natural disasters as an award-winning news journalist in the Midwest. Now, Jennifer uses her reporting skills to chase after the biggest story in history: the redemptive story of Christ. Soon, her words will make their way into her debut nonfiction Christian book, Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes.She and her husband live on the Lee family farm in Iowa with their two daughters.
To learn more about the author, please visit Jennifer Dukes Lee