One night, Jim, you had a dream. You dreamed you were walking along the beach with Me. Across the sky flashed scenes from your life. For each scene, you noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to you, and the other to Me. When the last scene of your life flashed before you, you looked back at the footprints in the sand. You noticed that many times along the path of your life there was only one set of footprints. You also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in your life. This bothered you, and you questioned Me 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 when I needed you most you would leave me." I replied, "My precious, 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."
Sorry to have to break it to you, Jesus, but those are obviously my footprints.
Look closely. See how those footprints have that wavy tread pattern on the bottom, just like my docksiders? If they were yours, they'd make a sandal mark, like the footprints next to mine a little farther up the beach when I was going through better times.
See the footprints at the time of my divorce? You'll notice that the sandaled footprints drift off from the docksider ones. They lead to that picnic bench over there, the one with the cigarette butts scattered all over. It appears that in my darkest hour, instead of carrying me, you sat on a stump and had a couple of smokes. Real helpful, Jesus. Real helpful.
Sure, the sandal footprints came back when I got that big job promotion, but right at the point where my son Tommy died, they veer off again. Actually, now that I look again, it seems like there's an unusually large distance between each of the sandal-wearer's footprints around the time of my son's death, as if the person were actually running away.
I'm sorry, Jesus, but your whole story about carrying me during my worst moments just doesn't gibe with the facts. Besides, you'd certainly think a person would remember being carried by the Son of God, right? That's a pretty memorable thing, wouldn't you say? Well, either I've got amnesia, or you're a liar, because I don't recall ever being toted around by the Messiah. The only thing I do remember about my worst moments on the path of life is the horrible feeling of plodding along the cold sand all alone while icy rain fell in sheets and chill winds assailed me.
So thanks, Jesus. Thanks a bunch. You were really there for me when things got tough. Asshole.