A dear friend of mine posted a music video on Face Book performed by my favorite female recording artist, Leona Lewis, called Footprints in the Sand calling our attention to the plight of the children in Africa.
It moved me and caused me to reflect on my own efforts to serve those in need, whether it be those in far off places like Africa or those in my back door.
In these times of economic distress, it is easy to draw inward and not reach out to others. Perhaps more important than even the economic incentives that are needed to jump start the economy and our pocketbooks, we need those things that enrich our souls.
During even the toughest times, the best cure for the ailments that weigh heaviest on our souls is the sweetness that comes when we are truly in service to others. Not only in terms of monetary donations, but in the actual time and giving of ourselves that many of us seem to have forgotten how to do.
Footprints in the Sand is the title to the 1936 poem written by Mary Stevenson
|Footprints in the Sand|
|One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.|
|Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.|
|In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.|
|Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,|
|other times there were one set of footprints.|
|This bothered me because I noticed|
|that during the low periods of my life,|
|when I was suffering from|
|anguish, sorrow or defeat,|
|I could see only one set of footprints.|
|So I said to the Lord,|
|“You promised me Lord,|
|that if I followed you,|
|you would walk with me always.|
|But I have noticed that during|
|the most trying periods of my life|
|there have only been one|
|set of footprints in the sand.|
|Why, when I needed you most,|
|you have not been there for me?”|
|The Lord replied,|
|“The times when you have|
|seen only one set of footprints,|
|is when I carried you.”|
The poem is Christian and shows the hand of God in our lives. The illusion to service is how we can be there for those in need or in despair in a similar way, assisting them and helping them carry the load. We leave our footprints as we walk in service beside them and sometimes we don’t in those cases where we actually carried them through their burdens.
There are literally dozens of local non-profits and charities that you can get involved in your local area to truly serve in a meaningful way. There are also state, national and international organizations. There are also churches with programs that are always looking for volunteers.
There are always neighbors and even others who may need your help. On the White House page on service it states:
“President Obama believes that service consists of more than a “one-off” occasion. He believes that civic engagement and service should be a lifelong commitment whether at the school, community, city, state, or national level. This includes community service, government service, and military service. By empowering people at all stages of their lives and at all levels of society to stand up and help solve problems in their own communities, the federal government will encourage sustained civic engagement that will transform those serving, the communities they help, and the nation as a whole.”
Service is not only an answer to soften a hardened soul but to also raise a nation above its own despair.
Where will you leave your footprints?