|Footprints in the sand|
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This famous allegorical text has brought love and comfort to millions of people and has become enormously popular for one century, especially among Americans. It is not strange to find it printed somewhere in the house as a constant reminder of the unconditional love of God.
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 most you would leave me.
The LORD replied, my son, my 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, it was then that I carried you.
THE LORD= God.
WALKING ALONG= Notice the preposition. We can say "walking along the beach / the street / the road / the path, etc" or any other place which is long, but we "WALK ACROSS a square / a forest / a country, etc" or any other place which is not long. When we are talking about the street, the path or the road, we can also say "WALKING DOWN the street", it doesn't matter if you are walking up the hill, down the hill or on a flat surface, DOWN here means simply ALONG.
BEACH= The part of the coast where the sea meets the land, especially if it is all made up of sand.
FLASHED= If something flashes, it briefly appears for a very short time and then it disappears.
FOOTPRINTS= The mark that your feet leave on the ground as you walk.
TWO SETS OF FOOTPRINTS= The marks left on the ground by two people walking.
IN THE SAND= The beach is a surface, so you leave your footprints ON the sand. But in this situation, it is actually more common to say IN the sand, because the sand is soft and your footprints are not just a mark on the surface, but they get a bit "inside" the beach, making a three-dimensional relief.
BELONGING TO= If something belongs to you, you possess it, you have it (notice the preposition TO):
- This house belongs to me = This is my house, I am the owner.
- Do these keys belong to you? = Are these keys yours?
PATH= Little road, usually made of earth (not paved). Also used metaphorically (as here): the path of his life refers to all his experience, all the things he has lived.
ONE SET OF FOOTPRINTS= (see above) It means that only one person was walking. Alone.
THE VERY LOWEST= We can use VERY to emphasize a superlative, and it goes between the article and the adjective or adverb, like in this example.
1- You're the best
2- You're the very best (this sentence is more emphatic than sentence 1)
BOTHERED= To bother /bɒðə*/ is to disturb or irritate.
ONCE I DECIDED...= From the moment I decided... till the end.
TROUBLESOME= /trʌbəlsəm/ Difficult. Causing anxiety, distress or problems.
YOU WOULD LEAVE ME= You used to abandon me.
PRECIOUS= /preʃəs/ Very valuable or loved.
TIMES OF TRIAL= Difficult times in your life, when you suffer a lot.
IT WAS THEN THAT I CARRIED YOU= Precisely at that moment I was carrying you in my arms.