Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow
mind. At the age of 12 he was still in second
grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher,
Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him.
He would squirm in his seat, drool and make
grunting noises. At other times, he spoke
clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light
had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most
of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his
teacher. One day she called his parents and
asked them to come in for a consultation.
As the Forrester's entered the empty classroom,
Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a
special school. It isn't fair to him to be with
younger children who don't have learning
problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between
his age and that of the other students." "Mrs.
Forrester cried softly into
a tissue, while her husband spoke. "Miss
Miller," he said "there is no school of that
kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for
Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school.
We know he really likes it here."
Doris sat for a long time after they left,
staring at the snow outside the window. Its
coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She
wanted to sympathize with the Forrester's. After
all, their only child had a terminal illness.
But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She
had 18 other youngsters to teach,
and Jeremy was a distraction.
Furthermore, he would never learn to read and
write. Why waste any more time trying? As she
pondered the situation, guilt washed over her.
Here I am complaining when my problems are
nothing compared to that poor family, she
thought. Please help me to be more patient with
Jeremy. From that day on, she tried hard to
ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares.
Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging
his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss
exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to
hear. The other students snickered, and Doris'
face turned red. She stammered,
"Wh--why that's very nice, Jeremy.
N--now please take your seat."
came, and the children talked excitedly about
the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story
of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new
life springing forth, she gave each of the
children a large plastic egg. Now, she said to
them, I want you to take this home and bring it
back tomorrow with something inside that shows
new life. Do you understand?
"Yes, Miss Miller," the children responded
enthusiastically--all except for Jeremy. He just
listened intently; his eyes never left her face.
He did not even make his usual noises. Had he
understood what she had said about Jesus'
death and resurrection? Did he understand the
assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents
and explain the project to them. That evening,
Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the
landlord and waited an hour for him to come by
and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop
for groceries, iron a
blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the
next day. She completely forgot about phoning
The next morning, 19 children came to school,
laughing and talking as they placed their eggs
in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's
desk. After they completed their math lesson, it
was time to open the eggs. In the first egg,
Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is
certainly a sign of new life," she
said. "When plants peek through the ground we
know that spring is here." A small girl in the
first row waved her arm. "That's my egg, Miss
Miller," she called out. The next egg contained
a plastic butterfly, which looked very real.
Doris held it up. "We all know that a
caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful
butterfly. Yes, that is new life, too." Little
Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that
one is mine." Next, Doris found a rock with moss
on it. She explained that moss, too, showed
Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom,
"My daddy helped me," he beamed.
Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped.
The egg was empty. Surely it must be Jeremy's
she thought, and of course, he did not
understand her instructions. If only she had not
forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did
not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the
egg aside and reached for
another. Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller,
aren't you going to talk about my egg?"
Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy--your egg
is empty." He looked into her eyes and said
softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty, too."
When she could speak again, Doris asked him,
"Do you know why the tomb was empty?"
"Oh yes," Jeremy said, "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father
raised Him up." The recess bell rang. While the
children excitedly ran out to the school yard,
Doris cried. The cold inside her melted
Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid
their respects at the mortuary were surprised to
see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them
~ Author Unknown