BALTIMORE, Md. - As he descends a ladder into his makeshift grave, 63-year-old John Edwards is giving back to the American missionaries who helped save him from two dozen years of addiction, panhandling and homelessness on the streets of London.
“I've overdosed, serious overdose, over 20 times,” said Edwards, “When my father died in 1984, I literally couldn't make his funeral. My family wouldn't let me go. That broke me. That was my personal rock bottom.”
Since that time, Edwards has used whatever means necessary to spread his message of hope.
He has crossed America carrying an 11-foot cross, several other continents with a 33-foot syringe and his latest idea came while burying a close friend whose relapse led to a fatal overdose.
“Maybe if I make a coffin, and maybe if I live in it for three days like Jesus did and if I speak from the coffin,” Edwards recalled thinking at the time.