I walked through the rain the other day when I was tired and not feeling well. Making it to the car somewhat drenched I sat inside staring through the windshield at the streaming rain.

On a similar rainy day, several years ago, I was driving through town and spotted an elderly woman walking alone. She had no umbrella and I quickly assessed that she had gone out for a walk prior to the downpour. I pulled over and rolling my window down offered her a ride which she politely but profusely declined. Then I offered my umbrella as the least thing I could do. She refused that as well saying she had no way to return it to me but I persisted. She very humbly accepted it then continued on her way. She seemed embarrassed to be out in the weather so unprepared and did not want her situation to become my problem.

That memory remains with me and I’ve often wondered what else I could have done in the moment. It did prompt me however to go to the dollar store and purchase a dozen small umbrellas to keep in the car just in case.

It’s now several years later and I have just one of those dollar store umbrellas left. It just so happened to be in the bottom of the large bag I was carrying as I walked through the rain to my car. Something slowly dawned on me in that moment. I had what I needed but I didn’t use it.

Sometimes in life we already have the things that we need. They’re already inside us—we just have to draw upon them and use them. AND, just as often, we have some things, such as strength, courage, compassion, (even an umbrella!) that others need and we must share these things with them. Then furthermore, sometimes we need to accept the help or strength or shelter that someone is offering. They just might have what we truly need. It’s okay to come out of the rain.

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