“I’ll be okay.” There’s something about those three words that can settle our minds and hearts. In these unpredictable days of 2020, we can all use a reminder of words that help keep us calm to steady on.
In an unlikely place yesterday, I met a woman that nudged me with the “I’ll be okay.” After a trip to the post office, I zipped over to a neighborhood Walmart to pick up a few quick necessities. As I scanned the parking lot, I noticed a woman in a heavy coat lugging an oversized backpack and a large stuffed animal.
Huh? She was trudging along in front of the store clutching her cozy bear companion. Yes, an older woman out in the abrasive wind carrying a 3-foot stuffed bear is not something I see every day.
Immediately, I knew I was supposed to help her somehow. So I pulled into a parking spot uttering a prayer for guidance. I sensed God saying, “Give her $5.” Now granted this woman was not begging for money, she just looked like she could use a little cash to boost her day.
I rarely carry much cash, but found a Lincoln bill in my wallet and dashed out of my vehicle to make sure I didn’t miss the woman. She was now angling directly toward me! I boldly approached her and extended the money toward her hand. “Here’s a little something for you,” I said, looking into her light brown eyes. The deep lines in her weathered cheeks seemed to soften at my words.
The woman peered at me in surprise and quickly asked, “Who told you to give me this?”
“God,” I simply replied.
“Ahh, right on,” she nodded and broadly smiled.
“Well, you can use the money for some dinner or whatever you like,” I reassured her.
“Oh, I can buy gas or, well …” she trailed off a bit before adding, “I could use more, but I’ll be okay.”
“I could use more, but I’ll be okay.” Her parting words kept resonating in my head as I walked into the store. Most likely, I may never see this woman again, but she shared more with me than I shared with her. I supplied her with a trip to McDonald’s for chicken nuggets and she gave me a priceless advice nugget: I could use more, but I’ll be okay.
Perhaps, if you’re like me, you may think at times that you could use more. More money. More connection time with loved ones. Or more relaxation. More peace. Or more fun. More outings and less COVID restrictions. Our More list could get pretty lengthy.
But do we really need more or just an appreciation for what we already have? Like this passerby toting a fuzzy bear, maybe we already have everything we truly need.
Maybe today we too can let out a sigh of relief and serenely say, “I’ll be okay.”
P.S. I am a storyteller. You probably know that by now. 🙂 This woman reminds me of a homeless woman I write about in my new Bend book. There is more to all our stories.