A heart-warning reminder to
celebrate the Resurrection each day
of our lives.
by Russel Kelfer
the note at the end)
The Lady's name was Edith Burns. She
was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas. She was the patient of a fine
Christian doctor by the name of Will Phillips, a gentle doctor who saw patients as
people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns.
One morning he went to his office with
a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns. 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 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
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 be moving her story to 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
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 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 have asked 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
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 prayed and
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,
it's Good Friday."
Edith said, "Oh, no, for you every
day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!"
Well, two days later, on Easter Sunday,
Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower
shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her
those 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
Phyllis Cross took one look at that
dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down here
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?
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in
Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never
die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26
See also: What it
means to be a Christian
The Old Rugged Cross &
Links: The Cross and the Resurrection
"This is an
awesome fictional story written by Russel Kelfer of discipleship tape
wrote Miriam, a helpful visitor. "I had the opportunity to hear him read the
story in a church service several years ago before his death. I thought you
might want to see the whole story or make a link to his site or something
Let us pray that we too might be as truly certain of
our relationship to Christ and as concerned about the eternal destiny of others as was
the heroine of this story.