Do you believe in Easter?

Faith & Reflection

I found a fictional story in an old file recently that’s worth re-telling.

Edith Burns was a dedicated Christian who liked to introduce herself by saying, “Hello, my name is Edith. Do you believe in Easter?” Sometimes she was able to share the biblical meaning of Easter and occasionally people believed in Jesus.

Edith was a patient of Dr. Philips. One day he observed Edith explaining Easter to a patient in his waiting room. He told his receptionist, “Beverly, don’t call Edith yet. There’s a delivery taking place in the waiting room.” Beverly knew exactly what he meant. Years ago, Edith had introduced herself to Beverly saying, “My name is Edith. Do you believe in Easter?” Beverly became one of Edith’s success stories.

Later in Dr. Philips office he said, “Edith, I’m sad to inform you that have terminal cancer, you have little time left.” Edith said, “Don’t be sad Doctor. You’ve just told me that I’m going to celebrate Easter forever!”

When Edith was hospitalized she requested, “Put me near people who need to know about Easter.” And that certainly happened. She earned the nickname of “Edith Easter” on the ward, and several believed in Jesus! Except for nurse Phyllis. She was a good nurse, but made it clear that she wanted nothing to do with Easter.

One morning as Phyllis gave Edith her medications, Edith said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I’ve been praying for you.” Phyllis snapped, “I’m not interested!” Edith replied, “Phyllis, I’ve asked God to let me live until you become a Christian.” Phyllis said, “Then you’ll never die, because that’s not going to happen!”

In spite of herself, Phyllis softened and one day felt drawn to visit Edith. Edith said, “I’m glad you’ve come…God told me that today is your special day.” Phyllis asked, “Edith, you’ve asked everyone else if they believe in Easter, why not me?” Edith explained, “God told me to wait until you asked me and now you have!” Edith then shared the Easter story; the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. And Phyllis gave her life to Christ.

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis entered Edith’s room and found her dead. Her Bible was on her lap with her finger pointed to, “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” (John 14:2, 3). Phyllis tearfully exclaimed, “Happy Easter, Edith!”

A few minutes later Phyllis left Edith’s room and joined two student nurses in the cafeteria. She said, “Hello, my name is Phyllis. Do you believe in Easter?”

My name is Pastor Ross, do you believe in Easter?

— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church