Friday, November 14, 2008


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.
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 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 don't understand why when I needed
you the most you would leave me.'
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 in the sand
it was then that I carried you.'


Ella H. Scharring-Hausen, Princeton Educator and Sunday School Teacher wrote the Footprints in the Sand poem June 6, 1922 at the age of 22. Its first line read 'One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.' Ella H. Scharring-Hausens poem is now public domain property according to the copyright law of 1909. The Footprints in the Sand poem was later rewritten with permission of its owner in April Passion Week 1963 by Ella H. Scharring-Hausen's great niece, Carolyn Joyce Carty, a six year old child prodigy.

The Footprints poem famous first line then became, 'One night a man had a dream.' This first line was written by Robert Louis Scharring-Hausen. Carolyn Joyce Carty revised the complete text into its present form, which has become known as the more popular version of the Footprints poem.

Well, this is just one version. The story of this famous poem doesn't end here. A little more search takes me to two more versions, with the similar meaning and message. One of them is penned by Mary Stevenson in 1936 and the other by Margaret Fishback Powers in 1964. It is also found that there is also one Burrell Webb who claims to have authored this poem in 1958 while he was distressed as his girlfriend left him.

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