Footprints in the Sand

by Arnold Nelson

      Many years ago I visited a friends church. They gave me a cross for visiting them. The chain was too small so I took it off and put it on a string. I wore it around my neck for a couple of years. I didn't get many comments about it . That was ok. I wore it because it was a comfort to me not because of the comments I would receive. I was working in a casino at the time and one day a coworker came up to me and said Do you really think God belongs in here? I said without even thinking about it God belongs anywhere I am. If God does not belong here I don't belong here. He had no answer to that so he just walked away.

      One day when I was moving the cross fell off my neck. I felt terrible I looked all over for it but never found it. So I started looking for another cross. I went all over the city I lived in but never found another cross I liked. So I started looking in online jewelry stores. Finally after looking in about a dozen on line stores I came across a cross that had two footprints right were the two beams cross and I knew immediately that was my cross.

     I have always love the poem Footprints in the Sand. So I bought it. When I got it, again the chain was too small so I got another string and used that. It fell off a couple of times but I always found it again. When I started back to work I took part of my first paycheck and bought a chain. The first chain was very cheap after about 2 months the chain broke. So then I bought a better chain now I am very happy I have my cross and a good chain on it so there is not much chance of using it. When I started wearing the cross I got many comments about how pretty it was. That surprised me. About 3 years later I am still getting a lot of comments about my cross. Everyone likes my cross.

      One day a couple of years ago I was curious about the origins of the poem Footprints in the Sand. I was surprised when I read about it. There was a big controversy about the poem. For many years it just said it was written by anonymous. Many people claimed to have written it. There were three credible claims to it and one lady had actually gotten the copyright on it.

      There was one story that actually touched me as being genuine. It was about a lady named Mary Stevenson who claimed too have written it in 1936 when she was 14 years old. She wrote it to comfort a friend. Then she began writing copies out by hand and giving them out to people needed comfort. Problem was she had no proof of her story.

      A few days ago I went back on the computer and found new information about the poem. The fight was over Mary received the copyright after finding an old valise in her garage, in the valise along with other old poems she wrote, was an old copy of Footprints in the Sand She turned it in to the investigators and they ran some test on it. They decided it had been written in 1939 making it far older then anyone else's claims. So she got the copyright. Here is a copy of her poem for those that have never read it.

                        One night I dreamed I was walking

                          around the beach with the Lord.

                 Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

                  Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,

                   other times there were one set of footprints.

                            This bothered me because

                    I noticed that during the low periods of my life,

                when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,

                      I could only see one set of footprints.

                                    So I said to the Lord,

                    you promised me Lord, that if I followed you,

                              you would walk with me always.

              But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life

                  there has been only one set of footprints in the sand.

                                 Why, when I needed you most,

                                 you have not been there for me?

               The Lord replied, The times when you have seen only one set

                         of footprints, is when I have carried you.

                                            Mary Stevenson

      Isn't that a beautiful thought. When things are at the worse and we can't go another step. God is there and if He has to he will even pick us of in his arms and carry us until we can walk again. It reminds me of the Bible verse, Psalms 23 verse 4 Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death God will walk with me and comfort me so I don't have to be afraid.

      Mary's poem takes that idea one step farther. No telling how many thousands of people she comforted with the words. That was when I carried you Wow what an awesome thought.

      If you would like more information about Mary Stevenson or her poem Footprints in the Sand her family has their own website it is it is a very good website.

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