Jeremy was born mentally retarded, with a chronic illness that would prevent him from reaching adulthood. When he was 12, he was still in second grade at St. Teresa's School, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, suggested to Jeremy's parents that he be enrolled in a special school. She had 18 other children to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. After pleas from his parents. she agreed to let Jeremy stay, and try to be more patient with him. That spring, the students were excited about Easter. She gave each student a large plastic egg and asked them to go home and fill it with something that shows new life. The next morning, 19 children dropped their eggs in a basket on Mrs. Miller's desk. She opened them one-by-one. The first one contained a flower. "Oh yes, that shows new life," she said. The next contained a plastic butterfly that looked real. "We all know how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly," she remarked approvingly. The third egg contained nothing. She was about to put it aside and reach for another when Jeremy spoke up. "Don't you want to talk about my egg?" he asked. "But Jeremy, your egg is empty," she said. He looked into her eyes and said, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too." When she could speak again, she asked him if he knew why the tomb was empty. "Oh yes!" Jeremy said. "Jesus was killed and put in there, but the Father raised him up." The recess bell rang, and all the children ran outside, but Mrs. Miller wept. Her impatience with Jeremy had melted away.


Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 plastic eggs on top of his casket -- all of them empty.