From Br. Joseph —
Most people are familiar with the poem “Footprints in the Sand” by Mary Stevenson.
Here’s a different set of footprints (author unknown)…
— — — — — — —
Now imagine you and the Lord walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord’s footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your prints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures and returns.
For much of the way it seems to go like this. But gradually, your footprints come more in line with the Lord’s, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends.
This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: your footprints that once etched the sand next to the Master’s are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints is the small “sandprint”, safely enclosed. You and Jesus are becoming one.
This goes on for many miles. But gradually you notice another change. The footprint inside the larger footprint seems to grow larger. Eventually it disappears altogether. There is only one set of footprints. They have become one. Again, this goes on for a long time. But then something awful happens. The second set of footprints is back. And this time it seems worse. Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Deep gashes in the sand. A veritable mess of prints.
You’re amazed and shocked. But this is the end of your dream. Now you speak. “Lord, I understand the first scene with the zigzags and fits and starts and so on. I was a new Christian, just learning. But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you.”
“That is correct.”
“Yes, and when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps. I followed You very closely.”
“Very good. You have understood everything so far.”
“Then the smaller footprints grew and eventually filled in with Yours. I suppose that I was actually growing so much that I was becoming like you in every way.”
“But this is my question Lord: Was there a regression or something? The footprints went back to two, and this time it was worse than the first.”
The Lord smiles, then laughs. “You didn’t know?” He says. “That was when we danced.”
Our Lady of Mercy, pray for us…