Thoughts in the Supermarket

Sometimes, when I am in the supermarket, I see some older gentleman there doing his shopping. He's on his own, with a basket in his hand, placing his needed items there. 

One by one. Carefully. Slowly. Deliberately.

I may see him in one aisle, and no more. Or I may keep meeting him aisle after aisle. As he goes about his business, all kinds of thoughts rush through my head.

None of them are happy thoughts.

"He must be on his own. He's widowed."

"I wonder if his wife passed away a long time ago. Or was it just recently?"

"Is he thinking of his late wife with every item he sees on the shelves? Does he remember when he used to buy flour because she baked? And Raspberry jam because that was her favourite."

"Does his heart sorrow every time he puts half-a-dozen eggs in his basket, because he and his wife used to buy a dozen?"

"Does he have family? I wonder if they live near him. Maybe they're all living off the island, and he has nobody close by."

"I wonder if he's a Christian. Does his heart rejoice because one day soon, he will be with his wife, and they will look on the face of their Beloved together - not as husband and wife, but as members of this amazing family of God?"

I may see him going through the checkout. He may fumble in his wallet. He may be slow packing his bag. 

These scenes actually bring tears to my eyes. I don't want this man to be alone. I want him to be happy. I want his wife to be still alive, and their children and grandchildren to be all around them.

And then I realise that it is eminently possible that his wife is sitting in the car waiting, and he is on his own simply because he's a gentleman who offered to nip in to Tesco so she could wait in the warm car.

That cheers me up, and I hang onto that thought because I don't want to have a red nose and watery eyes when I have to go through the checkout.

Is this normal? Do any of you folks think like this? Or do I clearly have too vivid an imagination? 


  1. By far, I believe this is one of the coolest experiences you have shared. Beyond the daily life you share, and I love to read about, I see God's Spirit working in you to ask this man (and his wife if he has one) over to your home for Guga! Your home has so much love and friendship to offer. If he's not a believer, your friendship may be his last chance to see Jesus in this life. Go for it! Ask him over and the worst that could happen is he says no! :-) Thanks for the personal insight of what Jesus is prompting you to do.

    To the Death!

  2. oh my! My husband is always trying-good natured though-to get me to not stop at each person I see! Well maybe not everyone! My imagination is very vivid too, but the Spirit has actually kicked me several times, and the outcome very happy! We adopted so many pets, and even adopted 2 sisters from Russia 10 years ago. Charity has no limit. Better to be slightly embarassed that not listening and acting upon the gentle nudging fo the Holy Ghost!!!!

  3. yes I do the same thing. All the time, but it is everywhere. I was thinking about a lady I saw the other day. My children were small and we were at the park, she sat on the swing set and sobbed, I had never in my life at that point seen anyone cry so hard. I was so young and inexperienced and I didn't know what to do or say, I find my self thinking about her and praying for her wherever she is in the world. When I drive by that park, I always think, " That is the park where that lady cried that day."
    I think seeing men on their own is so heartbreaking, especially if he was putting everything into his basket so carefully.
    I always think in my mind, " chance encounters," I don't believe in chance so I should say, " Divine appointment." But important none the less. Every single person.
    Nice story.

  4. Sorry, that should have been I was thinking the other day about a lady I saw long ago. :) Now I would have walked up and hugged her.

  5. ALL THE TIME! I am so glad to hear that I am not alone in this. My thing is children. I see children only in a sagging diaper with a dirty face and it breaks my heart. I see a child looking longingly at the candy isle and it breaks my heart. I see a child pushing another cart full of dirty children around while their mom is somewhere shopping and it breaks my heart. I see some sad looking children staring at me and my children with questions in their eyes and I wonder what they would like to know. Are they wondering why we are smiling and talking with one another? Does that seem weird to them? I smile at them and say hello and they just look at me like I am so strange. Maybe I am. Maybe they are fine and it is just me making a mountain out of a mole hill but I ache for them anyway.

  6. My first thought was of my husband's grandfather. He is 91 years old. He still drives to the grocery store several times a week - both for him & his wife (who is 86) and for his wife's sister (who is almost 93). His wife's sister ("Auntie") has been alone for more than 2 decades. I've been a part of the family since I married into it 19 years ago, and I know she was a widow then. Anyway, I love that, even though the women don't drive (I don't think either ever did) that he has faithfully taken care of his wife and sister-in-law for so many years. In fact, they've lived about a block away from each other for over 60 years! They will be celebrating 69 years of marriage this summer! Amazing! (And, I do hope the man you see has a wife waiting for him somewhere... if not here, then in heaven!)

    P.S. Oh, and I came by your blog because of your comment about Ree Drummond on my blog. You're so right! Her 'love story' is so much sweeter because we know it is still ongoing!


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