08
Mar
08

A new record in the sand

footprint-sand.jpgI’m sure most people have seen the Footprints in the Sand story at some point in life, but if not (and the story below is sort of a personal sequel inspired by it), here it is:  Footprints in the Sand.

A woman in a dream found herself sitting on a beach beside Jesus, looking at the sand and the rolling surf. After several minutes of silence, the Lord looked over and asked the woman, “Do you see the set of footprints in the sand, running all down the beach? I will tell you about them.”

She looked, and not too far away was a long stretch of footprints that someone had left. Early on, there was a pair of deep, oblong impressions, and then the footprints continued on unbroken.

“Yes, I know all about those footprints,” she said, interrupting Jesus before he could speak. “And I know what you are going to tell me about them. I heard this story from my father, who dreamed a similar dream to this and told me what he saw and what you told him in that dream.”

“He saw two sets of footprints in the sand, and he asked whose they were,” she related. “You told him that they were yours and his, symbolizing how you walked with him through life.”

“Then he saw points at which there was only one set of prints,” the woman continued, “and he asked why you had abandoned him during those periods. You told him that you had not left him, and that the single sets of prints were the times you carried him through life’s problems in your arms.”

Jesus looked at her for a moment with great intensity, then turned his gaze back to the path.

“You must be pleased with yourself, thinking that you have divined my thoughts,” he said to her. “But that is not the same set of prints…”

“Obviously not,” the woman replied quickly, interrupting Jesus again. “There is only one set of steps, never two sets. This must be a period of great trouble for my father. You carried him a long way.”

Jesus shook his head slightly.

“Still you lean to your own understanding rather than waiting to let me explain,” he told her. “The early set of footprints on this beach represents the time right after your mother died. Your father tried to carry the whole family by himself. That is why there is only one set of prints.”

“And there,” Jesus continued, “where you see the two strange imprints, is when he could no longer carry on, and fell to his knees, overwhelmed by the heavy burden he tried to carry alone. He cried out in anguish to me, and I came, and I carried himand you and your siblingsthe rest of the way through life until you all grew up. That is why there is still only one set of footprints after he stumbled.”

There was a long period of silence, and then Jesus asked, “Would you like me to show you your path?”

The woman shrugged indifferently. “If you like.”

He stood up, guided her over several dunes and pointed off to the distance. The woman saw a long string of footprints stretching off into the distance. There were two sets of prints, side by side.

“I see you have walked with me ever since I left home,” she noted. “But you never carried me during that time.”

“That is true,” Jesus admitted.

“No wonder my life has been so hard,” she said. “Perhaps if you had carried me more often, I would not have suffered so much.”

“Undoubtedly,” Jesus responded with sadness.

The woman looked at his pained expression and put her hand on his shoulder.

“I know why you are sad,” she said. “Because you feel bad that you did not carry me.”

“In a manner of speaking,” Jesus answered, a tear running down his cheek.

“I wonder, though, why didn’t you ever carry me through any of my difficulties, as you did for my father, and for the whole family when I was growing up?”

Jesus sat down heavily and sighed. As the dream began to fade, the woman heard his answer:

“Because you never asked me to.”

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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