Footprints in the sand. It is a very old poem reminding us of how, when we think we're alone to deal with the worst life has to throw at us, that is actually when God is closest to us as He carries us through those terrible times. It is a reminder that God is always with us, no matter how bad things seem to get.
But how does He accomplish this? In the very real, material sense, how does He leave those footprints?
God often manifests Himself and His good works through very ordinary means. Among other things, God is within each of us and He uses our close ties with each other to perform many of His deeds and to deliver many of His messages. We all have a little bit of God within us. And we are all capable of 'carrying' another person when the need arises.
When a family member is having a difficult time, we call them or perhaps see them directly to aid in whatever way we can. We offer our emotional and sometimes even financial support as needed to help them get through their difficult times. Just as they do for us.
When a friend is sick, we visit them or at least call to wish them well. We are ears to listen and shoulders to cry on.
When a stranger is begging on the street, there is usually at least one moment during our lifetime when we feel the rightness of handing that person a sandwich or a dollar in order to help them get through just one more day.
Every loving gesture. Every work of charity. Every time we connect in a positive way with another human being, whether we know them well or not - each of these moments is God manifesting within us. It is God's way of being there for us when times are tough. He is everywhere. And He literally has billions of feet - and hands - available to help each of us make it through the high tides and rocky shores.
Truly, we are never alone.