Do You Believe in Easter?

Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness.  ~Floyd W. Tomkins

We live and die; Christ died and lived!  ~John Stott

I read this story years ago and ironically ran across it this weekend. I believe it is a heart-warming Easter message reminding each of us of the true meaning of holiday.

The lady was Edith Burns. She was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, TX. She was the patient of a fine Christian doctor by the name of Dr. Will Phillips, a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. One of his favorite was Edith Burns.

One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith. When he walked into the 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 why Edith was there and what she was doing. You see, Edith Burns 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 said to the nurse, “Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.”

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she 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 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 cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.”

Edith said, “Why Will 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 ticket!”

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

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 have to share her story to others at the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. Many women were gloriously saved. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter; everyone 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, and she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book. Well, one morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick, and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a flu 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 Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me, you religious nut, it won’t work. I’m not interested.” Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I will ask God not to let me go home until you come into the family.” Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen.” She walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into that room and Edith would say, “God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I’m praying for you.”

One day Phyllis Cross 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, because God told me that today is your special day.”

Phyllis Cross said, “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 have asked…” She took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Then she asked, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?”

Phyllis Cross said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life.”

Right there, Phyllis Cross invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?”

Phyllis Cross said, “Why Edith, its Good Friday.”

Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties and then went to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to see Edith and give her Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter. When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed.

That big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible and there was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was dead. 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 that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith Burns – Happy Easter!”

Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

©My Unplanned Life and www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com 2012.

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About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Do You Believe in Easter?, Easter, Faith, Finding the joy, God and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Do You Believe in Easter?

  1. Chatter Master says:

    This was beautiful. I wish you a very Blessed Easter!

    • mswd says:

      Thank you so much! We had a wonderful day filled with 28 family members — lots of laughs, too much food and made some new memories! Hoping you had a nice day! Enjoying your blog!

  2. Bill says:

    Thank you for sharing the Easter Message. He is risen!

    • mswd says:

      Thank you Bill ~ yes, indeed! And, wasn’t it a beautiful day? Looking forward to more photos from you of the lovely work He surrounds us with each and every day! You are SO talented and I think a blog of your work would be nice…what do you think? 🙂

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