Footprints in the Public Domain

For those that have never heard of it, Footprints in the Sand is an popular religious poem with a disputed origin ultimately resulting in a lawsuit. I had wanted to feature this beautiful poem on decorative sign, but found the ugly nature of it’s legal status to be off-putting.

After some research and legal advice, I found that two doctrines called fair-use and transformation would allowed me to use Footprints in the Sand, so long as it was my own take on it. There’s two or three versions (all disputed), so I read all three, a paragraph at a time, and wrote down what I remembered.

In October of 2014, I completed my version and made the decorative sign. The result is something new that uses more modern English. Since the poem has such a great message, and out of frustration with its murky copyright status, I decided to dedicate my version to the public domain. Feel free to use it with or without attribution or permission.


Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking on the beach with God. Many scenes from my life flashed before me. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand, sometimes two sets, other times only one.

This bothered me because during the lowest and saddest times in my life, there was only one set of footprints. So I asked God,

“God, you told me when I decided to follow you, that you would walk with me all the way. But I noticed during the most trying times there has only been one set of footprints. Why when I needed you most, were you not there for me?”

God whispered, “My child, I would never ever leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you saw only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.”

Public Domain: To the extent possible under law, Timothy Keith has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Footprints in the Sand.