Bickering on a beach

A man looked back at his life as a walk on a beach: a part of the way the footsteps of Jesus were there alongside his, but they disappeared whenever there had been a particularly hard patch in his walk: and the man cried up to heavens, “My God, why did you leave me to walk those hardest parts of my life alone?”

And there was a voice, somewhat smug, in answer: “Look harder, friend. Those were the patches where you couldn’t go on alone, and I carried you.

The man looked, and then spoke again: “Dear Lord, it does look like those single steps are from my sneakers.”

After a while, there was again an answering voice: “Well, if I carried you, you didn’t need shoes, did you? It’s no fun walking in wet sand in sandals. So I borrowed your sneakers — no big deal!”

The man looked even closer, and scratched his head. “O my light, I do not wish to disagree, but these steps are as light as my own. Shouldn’t our combined weight have made deeper steps than these?”

“Well, obviously I weigh nothing. I am God, insubstantial, immaterial. Even ethereal. I leave no traces.”

“How about those footsteps, er, sandal-traces, when you walked alone?”

“Foolish mortal! It’s my beach and I’ll leave tracks if I want to!”

“But — but I remember walking those awful stretches, walking alone, full of despair! How can that be if you carried me?”

There was a blast of benevolent laughter from above. “Simple. I played with your head. And that time that nice clerk gave you a discount, and that dog what whizzed on you when your tongue was frozen to the pole, freeing you — well, that was me, too!

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