Friday, January 29, 2010

Poetry: Footprints in the Sand / Buttprints in the Sand

My friend sent me an email in response to something I had posted  that his mother's favourite poem was Footprints in the Sand.  In his words:
Whenever things were tough, she would remind us of this poem and say that we never had to take on a burden by ourselves, there was always someone to share it with. That's why it's so important to have a circle of  friends to at least email things to, so you know you are never alone and there is always someone to help.
For those not familiar with the poem, it was written in 1936 by Mary Stevenson and reads as follows:
One night I had a dream--
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would 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 don't understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
"When you saw only one set of footprints,it was then that I carried you."

It is ironic that a poem dealing with matters spiritual and inspirational has given rise to some nasty authorship and ownership catfights and in some cases litigation over copyright infringement. 
I prefer Butt Prints in the Sand:
One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
and there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
when one must fight, and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
or leave their butt prints in the sand."

Author Unknown, quoted at

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