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Friday, June 12, 2015

The little old man in the cream colored suit

Matt and I went grocery shopping last Saturday. We are getting pretty good at getting in and out of the store quickly, even with coupons! Saturday last was no exception, up until we began to push the loaded cart out of the store.

It was then that I noticed him -- a little old man, maybe 70-something, 80-something perhaps. He had just finished checking out and was standing at the door, holding a single gallon of milk and looking a bit disoriented or confused.

I glanced his way, looked toward the door, and then back at the gentleman, drawn to his apparent frailty and appearance. This was one of those unusually hot days for the Portland area, and he was wearing a cream colored suit. Jacket, vest, slacks, tie -- the sort of outfit one might wear to court, a special date, maybe even church for those of a certain generation.

But this was not a typical business suit: it was tattered and thoroughly splattered with dark stains. The cuffs of the pants, the cuffs and bottom of the jacket. They reminded me of the type of mess that arises when you jump around in a mud puddle.

So here was this little old guy, purchasing a single gallon of milk, doing his shopping in a business suit that looks like it's been worn 24/7 for the last several years.

Somehow this just broke my heart. I couldn't take my eyes off of him as he wandered out to the parking lot and got into a rather nice late-model car.

I wonder what his story is? Do you ever look at some stranger and wonder about his or her life? Is he happy? Does she have enough to eat? Does he have family or friends looking out for him? Is he living in that car?

Did he wake up today, decide to dress up for his trip to the store, and put on his only suit?

I said some prayers for him, and he has remained on my mind since.

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