I’m a total people-watcher. Can’t help it. Especially when something about a stranger strikes me as funny or odd or out of place … or in this case – alone. And not just alone but seemingly lonely. Once they’re in my sights, I begin to wonder.
For instance, the other night we were having dinner out and I saw an older gentleman eating alone. Now I understand there are those who are completely comfortable enjoying a quiet meal by themselves. I’m not one of those people. While some people are fine with that, there are those who just look down … sad. This man from the restaurant struck me as a little sad and lonely. Couldn’t help but wonder if he’d come here alone because he wanted to or because he had no one to come with.
Then today, we went to enjoy the sunshine on one of the many beautiful beaches nearby. My people-watching skills in full effect. I saw two different men stop and just take in the awesomeness of the mighty Pacific. While they seemed to pondered life I began to wonder about each of them …
What brings him here today … alone? Does he prefer the quiet time by himself to think? What’s he thinking about? Is he remembering the past that has lead him to this point? Or contemplating a financial decision? Is this where he and his wife used to come walk together? Is she at home preparing dinner or has she gone home to be with the Lord? Is he simply enjoying a walk and a beer on the beach? Or are the waves of life crashing as thunderously in his heart as they are against this shore?
Perhaps nothing is wrong at all. But I’m curious nonetheless. I say a prayer for them and go back to my own pondering and contemplating. Wondering if anyone is observing me from a distance … guessing at what might be weighing on my mind.