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Elora

“Elora Geisler Geier, 14, showed others what it means to love and to live. Elora, a 7th grade student at North Allegheny, lost her courageous fight with Leukemia Saturday, April 29, 2006, surround by many of those who love her.”(Full Obituary Here)

That line, from today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is bittersweet news for those of us who knew Elora. Elora was active with the Jr. High youth group at Northmont. Her life had been indelibly marked by tragedy, as when she was young she had been struck by an automobile which had resulted in long term physical and cognitive effects. But that was part of what made her such a beautiful person. She was genuine in all she said and did. She truly did show what it meant to love and to live. And losing her is the bitter part, but she is free of her suffering.

Late in the summer Elora was diagnosed with Leukemia and she has battled it ever since. She came to youth group just once since then and there was not a person in the room who wasn’t happy to see her smiling face and hear her voice. I guess in youth ministry they tell you you’ll deal with a lot, and this is one of the things that you deal with. And, it goes without saying that the loss is sad and devastating. However, one thought that has been on my mind ever since I heard the news is how Easter has taken on a new meaning because of Elora this year. I was reading my bible this morning and read 1 Corinthians 15:21-28

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-28, ESV)

The good news of Easter is that death does not have the last answer. The final chapter in Elora’s life remains to be written because the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the sign and promise of our own resurrection. We know, that even in the midst of our grief over the loss of Elora, that she will be raised and transformed along with the rest of the Saints. Until then, Elora is in the hands of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Praise be to God!

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