Issuu on Google+

N째10

Photos and graphics by: ROGER

NORHEIM

COLLECTIONS

(c) 2010 Roger Norheim Collections 2

Footprints, also known as Footprints in the Sand, is a popular allegorical text written in prose.The text describes a dream, in which the person is walking on a beach with God. They leave two sets of footprints in the sand behind them. Looking back, the tracks are stated to represent various stages of this person’s life. At some points the two trails dwindle to one, especially at the lowest and most hopeless moments of the character’s life. When questioning God, believing that God must have abandoned his follower during those times, God gives the explanation: ‘During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you’. While some critics have disputed the literary merits of the piece, it remains enormously popular, especially among American Christians. There are multiple variations of the text. The original authorship of the poem is disputed, with dozens of people claiming to have penned it. Rachel Aviv in a Poetry Foundation article discusses the various claims and suggests that the source of this poem is the opening paragraph of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s 1880 sermon The Education of the Sons of God. June Hadden Hobbs suggested that its origins lie in Mary B. C. Slade’s 1871 hymn “Footsteps of Jesus” as “almost surely the source of the notion that Jesus’ footprints have narrative significance that influences the way believers conduct their life stories ... it allows Jesus and a believer to inhabit the same space at the same time. [...] Jesus travels the path of the believer, instead of the other way round”. It should be noted that Margaret Fishback (Antolini), whose light verse appeared regularly in popular American magazines from the 1930s to the 1960s, had no connection to Footprints, although her name confusingly resembles that of one claimed author. 3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

One night a man had a dream.

12

13

He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the L 14

Lord 15

16

Across the sky flashed scenes from His life.

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand.

34

35

One belonging to Him and the other to the Lord. 36

37

38

When the last scene of His life flashed beforeHim, ...he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

39

He noticed that many times along the path of His life 40

there was only one set of footprints. 41

He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and s 42

saddest times of His life. 43

This really bothered Him...

44

45

46

...and He questioned the Lord about it. 47

48

Lord you said that once I decided to follow you, 49

... you’d walk with me... 50

... all the way. 51

52

53

But I have noticed that... 54

55

during the most troublesome times in my life... 56

57

there is only one set of footprints. 58

59

60

I don’t understand why...

61

when I needed you most you would leave me. 62

63

64

The Lord replied,

65

66

...my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! 67

During your times of trial .and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, ... it was then that I carried you!

68

69

70

71

72

73

74

75

76

77

78

79

Three different vers 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.” Mary Stevenson, 1936 Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved

80

FOOTPRINTS Also Known As “I Had a Dream”

One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach w sky flashed scenes from my life two sets of footprints in the san one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life s at the footprints in the sand. Th footprints. I realized that this wa times of my life. This always bo the Lord about my dilemma.

“Lord, You told me when I decid walk and talk with me all the w the most troublesome times of footprints. I just don’t understan You leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious ch leave you, never, ever, during yo you saw only one set of footprin you.”

Margaret Fishback Powers, 196

sions of Footprints FOOTPRINTS

with my Lord. Across the dark e. For each scene, I noticed nd, one belonging to me and

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed 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.

shot before me I looked back here was only one set of as at the lowest and saddest othered me and I questioned

When the last scene of 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 of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about ded to follow You, You would it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d way. But I’m aware that during walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the my life there is only one set of most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of nd why, when I need You most, footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

hild, I love you and will never our trials and testings. When nts, It was then that I carried

The LORD replied, my precious, 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, it was then that I carried you.

64

Carolyn Carty, 1963

81

82

83

WWW.VISUELLEMAGAZINE.COM

84


VISUELLE No. 10