DO YOU BELIEVE IN EASTER
This is a true story, told by Jerry Metzler
The Lady’s name was Edith Burns. She was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas. She was the patient of a Will Phillips, fine Christian doctor. His favorite patient was Edith. One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart because of Edith. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap. She was earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her. Dr. Phillips knew what Edith was doing, she was on a mission.
You see, Edith had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved. Dr. Phillips walked on into his office, and there he saw the head nurse Beverly. Beverly first met Edith when taking her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Beverly said, “Why yes I do.” Edith then asked, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?” Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.”
Edith kept pressing Beverly about the real meaning of Easter and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Dr. Phillips said to Beverly, “Don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is lab report coming in. Finally, Edith was into the doctor’s office. As she sat down and took a look at the doctor, she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?”
Dr. Phillips smiled and said, “Now Edith, I’m the doctor, and you’re the patient.” With a heavy heart, he said, “Your lab report came back, and it says you have stage 4 cancer, and you’re not going to live very long.” Edith said, “Why Dr. Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my passport!”
Dr. Phillips thought to himself: What a magnificent woman this Edith! Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips every day. Christmas came, and the office was closed through January 3rd. On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would be moving into the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near to going home, so would you make sure that they put women in my room who need to know about Easter?” Well, they did just that, and a lot of the women were gloriously saved.
Everybody on that floor from staff to patients was so impressed with Edith that they started calling her “Edith Easter.” Everyone that is, except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse. She made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut.” She had been a nurse in an army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book.
Well, one morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. Edith had the flu, and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot. When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you, and I love you, and I have been praying for you.” Phyllis said crossly, “Well, you can quit praying for me, it won’t work. I’m not interested.” Edith said, “Well, I will pray and ask God not to let me go home until you come into His family.” Phyllis snapped back, “Then you will never die because that will never happen.” She then walked out of the room.
Every time Phyllis Cross would walk into Edith’s room she greeted her: “God loves you Phyllis, and I love you, and I’m praying for you.” One day, Phyllis said, she was literally drawn to Edith’s room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, Phyllis, because God told me that today is your special day.” Phyllis then asked quietly, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, ‘Do you believe in Easter?’ but you have never asked me.” Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you’ve asked, so….”
Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. After she finished, Edith asked, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter now? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?” Phyllis said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life.” Right there, Phyllis prayed and invited Jesus into her heart. For the first time, Phyllis walked out of a hospital room like she was walking on air.
A few days later, Phyllis came in the room, and Edith said, “Phyllis, do you know what day it is?” “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday,” replied Phyllis. Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!”
Well, two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis had to work. On her way in she stopped by the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to give Edith some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter.
When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was propped up in bed. Her big black Bible was laying open on her lap. Her hands were in between some pages on the Bible. Her eyes were closed, and there was a sweet smile on her face. But when something didn’t look right. Phyllis Cross quickly went to Edith’s bedside and realized Edith was dead.
As they were removing Edith’s Bible, Phyllis noticed that her left hand was on John 14: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, “ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Phyllis Cross took one look at Edith’s sweet face then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith – Happy Easter!”
Well, after Phyllis left Edith’s room, she saw two student nurses sitting at the front desk. She walked over, greeted them and said, “Hi, my name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?” Someone once said it’s not how you live that will convince people of your faith in God, but how you die. This certainly seems to be the case with Edith Burns. Will it be the same with you? – Dr. Robert R Seyda