Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
A man is walking along the beach with an old friend. Suddenly he realizes two things: he’s dead, and the old friend is Jesus. And it isn’t just any beach: it’s his life. He can see his footprints from different times in his life — little baby footprints, adolescent footprints, adult footprints, old man footprints, all his.
But there’s another set beside his — even at times in his life when he was alone. He turns to Jesus and Jesus says: Yes, my child, those are my footprints. I was always walking beside you.
But he looks further ahead — at the time when his father died, when his best friend betrayed him, when he was out of work with five children to feed — and he’s troubled, because at these times, one set of footprints disappears. So he looks at Jesus again. Jesus says: My child — those are the times when I was carrying you.
The man is comforted. But then he looks further ahead, to his life’s moment of greatest crisis, the moment when he questioned everything, even his faith, even his sanity — and sees the footprints come to an abrupt halt; and instead there are two round indentations in the sand, side by side. He turns and looks at Jesus a third time.
And Jesus says, My child: that is where I dropped you on your ass.
I was going to try to write something uplifting, I really was. Well, I find this story uplifting. Best I got tonight. One hell1 of a Lent.