Footprints In The Sand Poem: Top Condolence Poem

footprints in the sand poem
"Footprints in the Sand" is a popular poem that describes a person who sees two pairs of footprints in the sand, one of which belonged to God and another to themself. When the two pairs of footprints appear to be one set it is explained God carried the protagonist from this point on.

What Is The Poem “Footprints In The Sand”?

The poem “Footprints in the Sand” is a well-loved poem that has become widely popular and increasingly well known. This poem brings comfort to many Christians during their saddest times. The poem is an allegory, a story within a story, riddled with symbolism for those who wish to dig deeper into the meaning.

Footprints n the sand

Who Claimed To Have Written “Footprints In The Sand Poem”?

When the poem is published, it is often credited to “author unknown.” Three different authors, Mary Stevenson, Margaret Fishback Powers, and Carolyn Joyce Carty, have all registered copyrights for the poem. There is clearly controversy over who first penned the words to the poem.

The estate of Mary Stevenson adamantly proclaims ownership over the beautiful poem and documented forensic work done to prove their claim. They claim to operate the official website of the footprints prayer.

What Do The “Footprints In The Sand” Symbolize?

The footprints in the sand symbolize a person walking through life with God beside them. In reflecting, the individual recognizes that Jesus Christ is by their side through the entire journey with an exception. During the hardest times of life, the person seemed to be journeying alone.

As the poem concludes, God tells the person that during those hardest times, there was only one set of footprints because He was carrying them. In other words, we are never truly alone, even in times of struggle and strife.

The poem is written in two different voices, “one night I had a dream” as well as “one night a man had a dream.” Since there is controversy over who authored the poem, it is difficult to tell which version was the original.

What Are The Words To The “Footprints In The Sand Poem”?

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 in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, 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 the 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.

God carried me

Is “Footprints In The Sand” A Parable Or Allegory?

A parable is a simple story used to illustrate moral or spiritual lessons.

An allegory is a poem or story that reveals a hidden meaning. First is the surface story that can be taken at face value. The words say what is meant. In an allegory, there is a second story. The second story is one you have to dig a little deeper into to find the meaning.

The deep allegorical meanings within the poem “Footprints in the Sand” describe how God is with us all during our most difficult times. It is beautifully uplifting to those who choose to lean into this inspirational poem.

How Does The Poem Pull From Scriptures

The “Footprints” poem does pull from scripture. Here are some bible verses that resonate within the poem.

  • To know that no matter what, no matter where, no matter when, Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us.” (Hebrews 13:5)
  • “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.“ (Matthew 11:28)
  • “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4)
  • “In the good times he walks right beside us, and in the bad he carries us. We are never left alone in this world. We may be in it, but we are definitely not of it.” (John 15:19)
  • “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
  • “And in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” (Deuteronomy 1:31 )


Pam Berg is a former English teacher with a passion for writing. She has written for many years on a variety of topics and considers herself to be somewhat of a jack of all trades when it comes to writing. Although most of us tend to want to avoid the topic of death, whether it is us or a loved one, it is inevitable. Pam is dedicated to ensuring that as people are funeral planning they have access to a no-nonsense, straightforward laying out of the facts. However, she also recognizes that this is a topic that needs to be approached in a sensitive manner.

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