Footprints In The Sand

Ella H. Scharring-Hausen

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 were one set of footprints.
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 noticed that during the most trying periods
Of my life there have only been
One set of prints in the sand.
Why, When I have needed You most,
You have not been there for me?"
The Lord replied,
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints
Is when I carried you."

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CLICK HERE to learn more about the writer of this poem ~ Mary Stevenson

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    The never ending question - Who really wrote the famous poem "FOOTPRINTS"? Several people claim to be the original writer of this poem. CLICK HERE to read an ariticle at Poetry Foundation with indepth reporting of each person's claim.

    March 24, 2007
    Today I received another email stating that Footprints was written ...."by Ella H. Scharring-Hausen on June 6, 1922 before Mary was born. Mary only thought she wrote it. It is a sad thing to keep informing individuals about false stories.

    Ella's poem and copyrights according to the copyright law of 1909 claim this version is public domain property only. No one person owns it any more. Mary cannot claim a public domain version as hers because she did not actually write it. Mrs Scharring-Hausens husband was the Founding Father of Library Week in the US nation."

    I did a search online and found the following website This editorial tracts the history of who really wrote the poem. Mary Stevenson or Margaret Fishback Powers were both students of the school where Ella H. Scharring-Hausen taught. Thank you for sharing this information. In God's Love, Mauri Gandy

    I received a letter from Tonya Harp claiming that the above poem was written by Margaret Fishback Powers. You can read her letter and my reply below.

    Feb 5, 2004
    Subject: Re: Footprints in the Sand poem
    I was really disturbed to see the name Mary Stevenson as the author of the "Footprints in the Sand" poem in your February edition of this magazine! The TRUE author of the poem is Margaret Fishback Powers of British Columbia, Canada and a relative of a very dear friend of mine! I would ask that you do some research on this and make it right by putting her name on the poem on your site and making it known on your site of this error! A book you can look up for substantiation is "Footprints: The True Story Behind the Poem that Inspired Millions", you can find it at Barnes and Nobel bookstores along with others of her books.
    Mrs. Tonya Harp

    Dear Mrs Harp:
    Thank you for informing me that I had the wrong author of the footprints poem.
    As you suggested I did research on the internet to see who had written the poem and discovered that there are 2 versions of the same story. Mary Stevenson wrote a poem about her seeing the footprints back around 1939. Margaret Fishback Powers wrote a poem saying that a man saw the footprints, written as a third person. Our magazine had the version written by Margaret Fishback, so we corrected our poem to be written as Mary Stevenson wrote her poem.
    Both poems are beautiful, and God has used them to touch millions of people around the world. Again thanks so much for informing us of the needed correction.
    In God's Love, Mauri Gandy

    I just read the poem that was "fixed" and this is curious to me. How can there be two authors to basically the same poem?? I'm going to check with Margaret to see how this can be and will probably be in touch again. If there is still a discrepancy it needs to be made right.
    Thanks, Tonya

    Dear Tonya:
    I typed "footprints in the sand" in Yahoo search engine and the first two weblinks were: and
    according to the articles your friend's relative, Margaret Fishback Powers, is very familiar with the information that someone wrote a simuliar poem many years before her, and the poem that was written in 1939 was even taken to a person for Forensic testing that dated the paper and pencil writing back to the time about 1940. All of this information can be viewed at the above links.
    Last year I had a simular email from another person who said I had the wrong author on a very popular poem used at Easter time, "Jelly Bean Prayer". Both times I decided to continue with the author who claims to have written their poem at the earliest time.
    Unlike many people, I believe that God can and does give two individuals the same thoughts or ideas at two different periods of time. God inspired means God gave the inspiration, but we can not tell God who He can inspire and we can not tell God that He can not inspire someone else with the same thoughts.
    This does not just happen to authors, it also happens in the business world. I have known Christians who were inspired by God with knowledge on a new technology, and instead of using the information, they hid it, or a business plan that God gives someone and they do nothing with it. . . God still has the right to give that same technology or business plan to someone else if He chooses.
    So I can believe that God gave Mary Stevenson this wonderful idea of footprints in the sand, and Mary shared it to the best of her ability writing the poem to friends and others that she thought would be blessed by it. Then years later God decides to share the same analogy with Margaret Fishback Powers after a walk on the beach at Lake Ontario with her fiance. "She was inspired to write the poem to show how God promised he would take care of her no matter what." (copied from article by Debra Fieguth)
    God knew this story would be penned by both women and that many lives would be touched, and touching lives about God's Love is the purpose of God inspiration!
    In God's Love, Mauri Gandy


    This page is dedicated to our friend, Krystyna.
    This poem encouraged her during a stormy time in her life.
    We hope it will encourage you today.

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