Described by some as a literary masterpiece and others as processed cheese, the poem Footprints in the Sand is one of the most popular piece of writing in contemporary Christian pop culture. Royalties from reproducing it on cards, posters, in diaries and books, runs into millions. Now four people or their estates are locked in a fierce legal battle over the ownership of the poem, each claiming to have composed it. They are Mary Stevenson, Carolyn Joyce Carty, the traveling evangelist Margaret Fishback-Powers and Ella Scharring-Hausen. An unsympathetic observer of the legal wrangling described the claimants as 'three liars and one fifth-rate poet.' I can't reproduce the poem here as I don’t want to get sued for infringing copyright (the litigants are in a bad mood right now) but it goes like this. A man dreams that he's walking along the beach with Jesus who reveals to him all his past life and tells him that he has been with him in good times and bad. The man looks over his shoulder and sees both his and the Lord's footprints in the sand but notices that at the places where he had crisis in his life there is only one set of footprints. He said to the Lord, 'Where were you at that time?' and the Lord replies 'I was carrying you.'
I wonder which of the four the Lord is carrying during the court hearings. Perhaps they would do better to relinquish Footprints in the Sand and read the Prayer of Serenity, the Desiderata or even the Dhammavada instead. Personally, I hope Mrs. Fishback-Powers wins. At least it would be some compensation for having such a strange name.