There’s Just Something About Those Ys
We travel south on a Minnesota highway, through a landscape of blades, turning, turning. They’re everywhere, these gigantic Ys, all pointing heavenward.
I snap a photo with my iPhone:
“Look, Mom,” one daughter announces from the back seat. “Ys. Everywhere!”
We are in the habit of seeing these Ys decorating our world — Ys in tree branches and sidewalk cracks and airplane contrails … and even in our own veins.
These Ys are reminders of Yahweh, and when I see them, they interrupt my thoughts. And that is good. These Ys hold my mind absolutely captive to the King. It’s like magic, I tell you.
Here’s the deal: I have never been able to multitask my thoughts. I can only track one thing at a time. So when I’m looking outward toward Yahweh, I simply cannot focus inward toward the self.
Ys keep me Yahweh-focused, cross-minded, Savior-centered.
The very first Y that captured my attention was a scar, stitched up on my leg after a car collision on an icy January morning in 2009. I walked away, miraculously, with only one minor injury, a cut to the leg. The doctor stitched the wound into a Y.
I felt marked by Yahweh, and I prayed that the scar would never go away. The scar has begun to fade, but the Y-reminders have not.
Three years and thousands of Ys later, God is still dropping reminders all over 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 in 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 our 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.
The dark cloud hovering over you may well be a reminder that God is near. Is HERE!
And, then, behold: these symbols supernaturally pull the focus from self to Savior.
We can look for the Ys, but often they come looking for you —
In the passenger seat of the Acadia, I turn my gaze away from the Y-windmills and check Facebook on the iPhone. (It never takes long for my mind to wander back to the self.) And right there, it is: The first item on my news feed is this, a photo from my friend, Patricia, who spied the glory of God in a blade of grass:
And then another:
And there are more. I gasp at them all.
(Patricia writes, “This one kind of says, “He’s everywhere!” Doesn’t it?”) :
On that Minnesota highway, we keep rolling south, past Ys in fields and roads and clouds and trees … and Facebook. I could simply roll right by it all. Or I could live more fully in the moment, worshipping this God who woos with abundant wonders, all pointing upward like so many blades on grass.
Soon, we are home. I hold the phone to my ear, to listen to phone messages.
A friend left this one —
She had been in a car accident while we were away, and she asked if we could talk. No one was hurt badly, but she was remembering something about a car accident I had been in years earlier, and something about the way, in the end, that I had counted it a blessing.
“It was something about all those Ys,” she said. And I nodded.
Something about those Ys, indeed.
All grass photos taken by Patricia.
Woods photo (bottom left of collage) by Michele-Lyn. (Thank you, lovely friends, for sharing your photos!)
Have you come by for GodBumps & God-Incidences? Pick a button here, attach it to your post about the God Things that make you go Hmmmm … then link up! I so love visiting you each week, and try to stop by as many places as I can. Your contributions have been so Yahweh-honoring.
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Oh, such a simple thing to turn our hearts and minds to such a wonderful, powerful, majestic, faithful God. I am so blessed you shared my picture. I was thinking of you on that hike up the mountain — and the Y made me think of Him. Your life and your words point the way to Him. Your obedience to follow Him and write for Him is helping equip the body of Christ — so then we can do the same.
Blessings to you and so much love,
Amen Michelle-Lyn! I was just thinking the same thing.
Thank you, Michele-Lyn, for your photo. You’re a Y-focused, Savior-centered sister!
You mentioned the Ys in a comment on my blog one time. I have been looking for the Ys ever since.
Thank you for pointing out that His Monogram in on everything.
Isn’t it fun? Like playing I Spy with God. 🙂
Lovely, Jennifer. Really, truly. I saw Patricia’s photo on FB and thought of you and your wonderful Y’s. Such a beautiful lesson you’re giving your girls. Enjoy this family time, friend. This is how memories are banked, how futures are built.
Thank you, Diana. We had such a lovely trip to Minnesota. My parents have a little cabin on a small, quiet lake there. So.very.relaxing.
Thank you once again! Y…what a simple, beautiful reminder of our wonderful, glorious God. And yes, they are/He is everywhere!
Thank you, Marcia, for being here. God is over, above, beside. He is beneath and within. Amazing, isn’t it?
We wear a cross…we can look at rainbows all pointing to Him…thanks for giving us another way to turn our hearts toward Him…this also makes me think of the hymn…this is my Father’s world…He speaks to us everywhere… blessings as we look for His imprints marked on His creation.
I love that hymn!
Such a beautiful, simple, stirring reminder, Jennifer. Surely God’s signs are everywhere pointing to Him. And how I love your insights into this Y emphasis. How often have I fostered a “Why?” emphasis? I like yours better, because your Y reminds me of arms uplifted in praise, gratitude, and surrender to the King. My “Why?” reminds me of my own rebellion and complaint! I think that God prefers your explanation and so do I! God bless you, dear one!
Amen Lynni, Amen! You worded my thoughts completely.
Ah yes … I too often ask that “Why.” And always, right about then, a Y “coincidentally” pops up. 🙂
Your photo of Y’s reminds me of some photos I recently took as we left the Columbia River Gorge headed north to Yakima, WA. The hills are covered with wind turbines, and for some reason their presence brings a peace enveloping me. Our travels in this direction are to see my BIL and his wife. He lies not knowing who we are when we arrive, and with each trip he has slipped farther and farther away. Now I know why so many Y’s as we travel — thank you for this enlightening post.
Hi Sherrey … I am so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. And I am grateful that the Lord has given you a sense of His perfect peace as you travel. May He continue to enfold you all.
Wow, another God-incidence — and such a lovely one! I love this post with its insight and all its reminders of God in images, even fragrances, around us. And now I’ll be seeing Y’s everywhere, too, as well as crosses. Thanks for this new reminder of God with us everywhere.
The triggers are everywhere. Oh but my mind sometimes misses the obvious! Praying that my heart is tuned to see Him and His power everywhere. Beautiful post!
My mind misses the obvious, too, Christina. He’s continually training and retraining my scatter-brain. 🙂
Thank you, Jennifer. It’s because of you that God speaks to me through the “Y”s. Oh how I love the Body of Christ to lift each other up as we walk this amazing life we’ve been given. Thank you for being a friend who walks beside me. Love you muchly.
Patricia … Your photos were an absolute gift. I’m so glad that God made wonderful, creative, Y-seeing YOU! Love you all the way to Pollywog Creek and back.
Wow, that is really, really neat. Thanks for pointing that out!
You’re welcome. Thanks for being here, Tereasa.
He’s everywhere, if we have our eyes open. Thanks for helping to open mine today.
Hi Kim … Isn’t it fun, searching for Him in all things? It’s like playing I Spy, I think. 🙂
I love your Y reminders, Jennifer!
Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome. Have a great day, Joe.
I remember when you first posted about the Y’s…and since then I can’t escape them. I always smile at the wonder, the little reminders that He is there.
The Ys have a way of finding us, wherever we are. My girls and I so enjoy the search. Always seeking …
I think you’re Y’s are making us all take notice. Thank you Jennifer, for the way you point me to Him in all things.
If you see any, Shelly, drop me a photo on FB! I’d love to add them to my collection. 🙂
I love how God reminds us to focus on Him. His reminders are all around us in so many places. I’ll be sure to look for “Y” reminders today!
If you see any, Joan, send me a picture. Are we FB friends?
His Y’s are everywhere! Thanks, Jennifer 🙂
Amen, Susan. Thank you for being here today.
You’re singing my song! I love this! And I love you! Thank you for hosting us, dear Jennifer.
You got that right, Ms. Godspotter. 🙂 Love you back.
Thank you for this wonderful post today, Jennifer. I’m going looking for ‘Y’s’ today, instead of worrying about the ‘why’s’ presently in my life. Yesterday, I was drawn into spontaneous worship, and I realized I had my arms and hands raised in a perfect ‘Y’. Isn’t HE just DELIGHTFUL?!?!
And isn’t that the thing, when the arms raised, in praise, we reflect our God? Kelly Sauer once took a photo of herself like that, to add to my Y collection. It’s one of my favorite Ys.
Yes! I can’t wait to start looking for the Y’s!! I loved your post. So beautifully written.
I’m praying sweet blessings for you, Jennifer!
I love this post! Reminders of the Creator are everywhere! Thanks for the great post & hosting the linkup, & God bless,
I am reading “The Pursuit of God” Jennifer. In the chapter I read today Tozer speaks about the God who is here. He never goes away, simply waits for us to draw near by remembering He is always right here.
This is such a beautiful illustration of that.
From self to Savior, setting my mind on things above.
Those windmills are especially powerful because of their height and weight and purpose, providing energy…adding symbol upon symbol, meaning upon meaning.
I never connected the “Y’s” before. I look for God in all things, but missed this one. Thanks for the eye opening revelation. I’ll be looking for the signs and wonders of my Father in all the “Y’s” of our world. Thanks.
I’ve driven by those windmills. They are mezmorizing. I can’t quite figure out why. But maybe it is a gift from God that he allowed us to create towering Y’s to point to him in lands without mountains.