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?