It was the same morning that a worship song wrapped itself around my heart, like the lyrics knew I would need them later.
“Yahweh, holy is Your name.
Yahweh, holy is Your name.”
The music stopped cold in that one steel-crushing moment when an oncoming car slammed into my van.
I remember it all; it was the morning I thought I might die. It was the morning of a single red streak, slashing across the center line. I can hear it now: the crumpling steel, the shattering glass. I remember the stinging airbag. The spin. The ditch. The howling wind through a broken window.
And pain. I remember the pain. When I felt the pain, I knew for sure what I hadn’t yet been made certain of: I was alive.
I’d never felt so alive in all my life, and I haven’t forgotten what that feels like, three years later. I hope that memory never dulls.
I remember the ambulance ride, and how they cut off my favorite blue jeans to find the gaping wound on my left leg.
I remember someone using the word, “Lucky,” to describe the minor nature of my injuries. A woman who came to pray with me used a different word: “Blessed.”
I remember, too, how the phone rang into the X-ray room. My husband had dialed and found me there, in that small community hospital. We both cried, and it was just four days before his father would die in hospice. We knew his dad’s time was close, and he was torn between the injured wife, and the dying father. We both knew he should stay there. A friend who had come upon the accident scene — by God-incidence — would drive me home by mid-afternoon.
In the ER, the doctor stitched things back together on my leg, in the shape of a Y, the first initial for Yahweh. Just then, I remembered the song. I felt marked. For good. I didn’t want the scar to fade.
A whole person can get put back together like that — in the shape of a Y.
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
— Colossians 1:17
Yahweh is perpetually in the business of stitching things together, putting aright the broken pieces. There is nothing in this broken world that He cannot redeem. It’s all free game. We are all free game, and believe me, He’s coming after us all. He pursues us ALL the days of our lives. Every last one of them. He offers a hand out, if we’ll just put a hand up.
I did. I’ve put hands up. I still do. And if I hold them both straight up, they form a perfect Y.
I’ve been healed in a hundred different ways. I have the scars to prove true the wounds.
The wounded always wear scars.
Three years later, the scar on my left leg has faded. I can still trace it with my finger. I’m marked with a Y, and I see these Ys everywhere now.
To me, the Ys point to Yahweh — and His habit of saturating the world with His glory. It might seem a tad childish, to find Ys in places like airplane contrails and tree branches. I suppose someone might call this wishful thinking or coincidence or pure nonsense, that a 40-year-old woman goes looking for Ys. Even more ridiculous, but just as true, is this: sometimes the Ys coming looking for you.
Kayla knows. She’s the six-year-old girl who brought me a Y stick at the back of the church.
And Carol knows. She finds Ys in things like windmills and sidewalk cracks.
Monica knows. She sent me a drawing. Tiffany finds Ys in the trees.
And then, this note came last night, in my Facebook page inbox:
“… while picking up sticks, I found the most beautiful “Y” stick, perfectly broken . . . Then yesterday while digging in my garden, up came roots twisted together as if they were braided, into a beautiful Y, of course. And today when I went seeking medical information which I had prayed long about, there it was, the doctor actually said the new repair would be connected as a Y.”
Yahweh writes His name over everything, and He’s stitching it all together, even when not a stitch of it makes sense.
The world wants to ask why. We really could answer every problem with this: Y.
“When the world says no way, we say Yahweh.”
~ Bob Lenz
Photos: A collage of Ys from friends like Carol, Teresa, Jessica and others. Drawing arrived by email, in a handmade journal from Monica…
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