Monday, September 10, 2018

Footprints in the sand

One night a man had a dream,

He dreamt he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life,
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene in his life flashed before him.
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life, there
was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times
in my life there is only one set of footprints.
I didn't understand why, when I needed you most,
you would leave me."

The Lord replied, " My precious child, I love
you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one
set of footprints in the sand, it was then that I carried you."

An inspiring rhyme which has, it is claimed, influenced millions of people. The poem was so popular it has even a book dedicated to it. Most peope may have seen it as it is commonly available in a framed set and wherever it is displayed it is usually attributed to an unknown author. Royalties from this one publication alone would be in the millions and therefore extremely valuable to the bona fide author. Someone obviously wrote it and not surprisingly the authorship is hotly contested. The two main contenders are two ladies. In the red corner is Margaret Fishback Power who claims she wrote the piece in 1964 but unfortunately lost her original work in a house fire.

In the blue corner is one, Mary Stevenson, grand-daughter of Robert Louis Stevenson, no less and although she herself made no claims to writing "Footsteps" in 1936. A lady by the name of Kathy Bell, who was a close acquaintance of Stevenson, makes the claim on her behalf. Gail Giorgio wrote a biography of the troubled Ms Stevenson and called it "Footsteps in the sand". Even in her diary, dated 1958, Giorgio recorded her favourite poem was "Footsteps". Perhaps more convincingly is an authenticated document acknowledged by a forensic document examiner where a piece of paper containing the poem which was hand-written in pencil and signed by Stevenson. The document was dated 1939. Although the evidence seems to prefer the claim on behalf of Mary Stevenson the jury is still out and no decision has yet been made.

Reviewed 10/09/2018

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