This world has angels all too few, and heaven is overflowing.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Reading through our Online Submissions box this morning, I came across a curious photograph from Dawn Guterman. Some kind of marking in the sand was all I could make out, but it was an arresting image nevertheless.
In fact it put me in mind of Margaret Fishback Powers' famous "Footprints in the Sand" poem. In it, the troubled narrator usually knows the Lord walks with her because she can see both their footprints in the sand. But why now, she wonders, at this low point in her life, is there only one set of prints? Why does the Lord leave her side when she needs him most? Of course you probably remember the answer he whispers in her ear: "It was then that I carried you."
I scrolled down from the photograph and read what Dawn had to say about it. "Fall was in midstream as I set out on my morning walk," she wrote. "The crisp air of this New York state wood was not able to help me clear the thoughts that concerned me. I felt alone—until this angel stopped me in my tracks."
I had to look back at the picture. Angel? What angel? I couldn't see one. I read on: "The path's sand only molded one buck print, which was odd. I wondered where the other hoof prints went. But just the one was what I needed to see. It reminded me that I wasn't alone; angels were walking with me. My spirits were lifted!"
Colleen Hughes is the editor-in-chief of Angels on Earth. She's been at Guideposts for 20 plus years, and lives in a Hudson River town with her two daughters and two cats.