Footprints in the Sand

Hail Poetry

Footprints in the Sand

I feel sure that most of you are familiar with one or another version of the poem, Footprints in the Sand, by Mary Stevenson. Mary was born in 1922 in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, PA. She wrote this inspirational poem in her early teens and shared it with many friends.

When she was sixteen, she entered into an abusive marriage from which, after the birth of her her son, she escaped to an Indian reservation outside of Claremont, OK. She was able to return home only after getting word that her husband had gone off to fight in WWII. During his absence, she supported herself by working as a stage performer and dancer. Because of this her husband was able to take their son away from her upon his return from the war. She spent many years trying to get her son back.

Mary eventually moved to Los Angeles in the late 40’s. It was at this time that she first saw ‘Footprints in the Sand’ in print with ‘Author Anonymous’ as the only credit. Several attorneys discouraged her from pursuing her claim to it for lack of proof. However, in the 1980’s, she decided to pursue her claim to authorship, and the copyright is now held by her estate. I have asked for their permission to post it to this blog, and been given their blessing.

One night I dreamed I was walking along 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 see only 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 have noticed that during

the most trying periods of my life

there have only been 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 carried you.”

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