Monday, 18 August 2008


Perhaps the best known expression of being carried by Christ is in the well known words of ‘Footprints in the Sand’.
A dreamer walks along a beach with Jesus while life scenes flash before them. For most of the time there are two sets of footprints in the sand, but during the scenes of difficult times there is only one set of prints; the dreamer takes these to be her or his own, and asks the Lord why He had not remained when the need had been greatest.

It is frequently only in looking back that we find the understanding of simple truth in so much of life’s experience. Every stage of our walk towards and with Christ is made in His company - ‘... I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’ (Matthew 28:20) - though we easily fail to maintain our belief in His presence when the going gets tough. When we do not sense His presence, and fail to recognize any other evidence to suggest that He is with us, we feel ourselves to be orphaned and alone; a feeling that is itself a teacher, but from which we can learn nothing unless it persists. Not being aware of the Lord’s presence can so easily leave us with no conscious thought of His existence: in our hearts and minds He no longer exists until something jolts a form of recognition and recollection into our consciousness once more.

As with the dreamer’s vision of a single set of footprints, hindsight alone does not always convey the whole truth. It may clarify the memory of the experience itself and reveal evidence we had failed to see at the time; it may provide an understanding or interpretation of which we were previously incapable, but without the acknowledged and accepted presence of He who is our Saviour - not only of man and womankind as a whole, but of each of us as individuals - we are unable to see that which would otherwise be revealed to us in the constant light of truth as conveyed by the Holy Spirit. We remain unaware of His carrying of us until we first appreciate that in our worst of times we had not been alone. He was then, is now, and ever shall be, with us every step of the way.
Our journeying began before we started to search for Him; it preceded our first yearnings for Him and stirred in our earliest wondering about Him. Our first step towards Him was taken with our very first thought of Him.

It is in the experience of His presence that we recognize, with hindsight, that we have been found; the shepherd would ‘call together his friends and neighbours saying to them, “Rejoice with me, I have found my sheep that was lost.” (Luke 15:6); that we have been named; ‘The Lord then came and stood by, calling as He had done before, "Samuel! Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak, Lord; for your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:10); and that we have been raised to a new and meaningful life with Him.
We move closer to Christ through the stages of this process, but once He has lifted us our sense of direction is altered; it is no longer attuned solely to bringing us closer to Him, but more closely to His will for our lives. He carries us in the direction He has planned for us, pointing to the needs, the conflicts, the injustices or the abuses for which we are part of both His immediate and ultimate solutions. From now on our following is the close relationship He wishes every one of us to have with Him. If we remain faithful to Him we are inseparable and we are perfectly placed to follow His guidance and to be empowered for sending wherever and for whatever purpose He wills.

The dreamer, and in reality the person who first penned the words of ‘Footprints’, must have reached this point in their walk with our Lord to be able to convey the deep emotional and spiritual impact of their realization of His presence. The popularity and spread of the story is down to one simple fact: the message it conveys is truth. It gives access to a fundamental truth for which everyone is searching, and which we all yearn to experience for ourselves.


About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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