As spiritual human beings we are never ever alone, especially during our most trying times. God is always with us. This poem was originally written by Mary Stevenson in 1936 when she was just a little girl. Amazing how the right stories just find their way into our lives if we as human beings carry the vision of God’s will into our lives!
Footprints in the Sand
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 was one only.
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 has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
Author; Mary Stevenson, 1936
Since the 1930’s “Footprints in the Sand” has been in print in some form, seen and read by many people around the world and it is truly an amazing poem. The interesting history of this story is that at no time any author has been credited with this immortal piece of work, only “Author Anonymous” which would appear at the bottom of each printing or writing.
The story behind “Footprints in the Sand” and its author Mary Stevenson
Mary Stevenson for many years made handwritten copies of “Footprints in the Sand” and distributed these copies to people who needed something to give them comfort, hope and faith at low and sad points in their lives. Her friends and people who had received this beautiful poem from her would see “Footprints in the Sand” in print and wondered why Mary was not given credit for writing this wonderful poem.
Mary had asked an attorney about the poem and was told that “Footprints in the Sand” would be very hard to prove that she was the original author of this material. Since many people, such as authors and publishers of spiritual writings including greeting card companies had been using this poem.
In the year of 1936, Mary Stevenson wrote “Footprints in the Sand” when she was very young and innocent and also knew nothing about the world of copyrighting. Mary became discouraged and did not pursue the authorship of the poem any further.
It was in 1984, when Mary was preparing to move and leave her home, and while cleaning out the garage looked into a small and very old suitcase. In that suitcase Mary uncovered some other poems that she had written along time ago and among these poems, she rediscovered a very old handwritten copy of “Footprints in the Sand” that she thought was forever lost. This copy of the poem was dated 1939 and it was one of the many copies she had made for her friends. This was just three years after she had written the original poem “Footprints in the Sand”.
In that same year the U.S. copyright office awarded Mary Stevenson a copyright for “Footprints in the Sand” 48 years after this beautiful poem was written. Mary Stevenson’s handwritten copy was authenticated 11 years later by a forensic specialist as to its original age. This is a great ending to wonderful story and a beautiful, inspiring and amazing poem “Footprints in the Sand”.
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