Ponderings by Doug

Let me tell you about one woman who had a special way of sharing her resurrection faith. Her story is told in a book by her physician, Dr. Will Phillips of San Antonio. Her name was Edith Burns. She was an elderly widow who loved Jesus. She would often sit down with someone and say, “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” If they said yes, she would ask them what they believe about Easter. If they talked about Easter bunnies and colored eggs, she had a chance to share with them the real meaning of Easter. Countless people were led to Christ by Edith Burns, including Dr. Phillips’ head nurse.

One day Dr. Phillips called Edith into his office and said, “Edith, I’ve got bad news for you. Your tests have come back positive. You have an aggressive form of cancer, and you may not have long to live.” Edith replied, “Why Dr. Phillips, you need not look so sad. I have had a full life. Now you are telling me that before long I’m going to see my Lord Jesus face to face. I will be reunited with my dear husband, my parents, and so many old friends.”

After several months of chemotherapy, it was clear that the cancer was winning the battle for Edith’s life. She went into the hospital. Everybody who met her was attracted by her warmth and positive faith. And if she got half a chance, she would say to anyone, “Hello, I’m Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” She picked up a nickname in the hospital—”Easter Edith.” But there was one person who was not attracted to Edith. Phyllis Cross was a mean, ornery nurse. She had been an Army nurse for twenty years. She had been married four times. Phyllis told her supervisor, “I don’t want to have anything to do with that religious nut, Edith Burns.”

One day Phyllis had to go to Edith’s room to draw some blood. Edith said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you too, and I’ve been praying for you.” Phyllis said, “Well, you can stop your praying for me. It won’t work and I’m not interested.” Edith said, “I can’t stop praying for you. And I’ve asked God not to let me go home until you have come into His family.” Phyllis replied, “Then you will never die because that will never happen.” Then she walked out.

Edith and Phyllis saw each other regularly over the coming weeks. But Edith never asked her the question she posed to everybody else, “Do you believe in Easter?” Finally, Phyllis’ curiosity got the best of her. She said, “Edith, why have you never asked me if I believe in Easter?” Edith smiled and replied, “I asked God to cause you to ask me about the Easter question, and you just did.” Phyllis was caught off guard. Her defenses dropped. Edith shared Christ with her. This tough old Army nurse invited Jesus into her heart as Savior and Lord. A few days later Phyllis walked into Edith’s room and said, “Hey Edith, today is Good Friday.” “No,” said Edith, “It’s Easter. In the life of a Christian, every day is resurrection day. Happy Easter, Phyllis.”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis walked into Edith’s room and noticed a tranquil smile on her face but it was obvious that her soul had departed to be with the Lord. Phyllis placed her hands on Edith’s and said, “Happy Easter, dear.” Then she assisted the family in making funeral arrangements. Several hours later Phyllis managed to get a few minutes off duty. She sat down in the break room to have a cup of coffee. One of the new student-nurses happened to be there. Phyllis said, “Hello, my name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

Do you?