Lost and Found

Cousins:  Front: Susan, Gary Back: Elaine, Karen, Donna

Front: Susan, Gary
Back: Elaine, Karen, Donna

Bobby & Susie Kloeffer

Bobby & Susie Kloeffer ( June 2012)

What do you think of when you read the words, “Lost and Found”?  I think of a big, plastic bin at the YMCA where swimsuits, goggles, towels, and tee shirts were tossed when people left things behind in the locker room. I think of a closet at school where books, binders, purses, and such were stored, waiting for owners to come and claim them. I think of little Bo-Peep who lost her sheep and didn’t know where to find them. Lost and found.

The Christian Mother Goose (book one) has a version of “Little Bo-Peep”:

Little Bo-Peep

Has lost her sheep

And doesn’t know where

To find them;

But Jesus knows

And can bring them home,

Wagging their tails behind them.

Some people view these baptized Mother Goose poems as pretty cheesy, but I enjoyed them with my little girls so many years ago. I especially enjoyed the audio version of this book! Whimsical and pleasant.  But Bo-Peep makes for a poor shepherdess — stunningly irresponsible or simply incapable. How could she lose all of them? Jesus is the Good Shepherd. His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. When they do not follow — “for all we like sheep have gone astray” — He lays down His life for His sheep — “we have turned every one to our own way “– so God laid on Jesus the sins of us all (Isaiah 53:5-6).

This summer has been a big blow.  We’ve “lost” a number of friends over the last few years, but this summer continues to roll over us. On June 28, the day that the Yarnell, Arizona fire was started by lightning, the darling wife of our Troy Christian High School principal (school where I worked for many years) passed away after a long battle with cancer. Holly Orange was only 50.  On June 30, as you know, we lost our 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters, including our own Dustin DeFord, only 24 years old. And now another loss, very dear to my heart.

My cousin, Susan Elaine Kloeffer, from Vanlue, Ohio (near Findlay, where I was born), passed away early Sunday morning, July 28, peacefully in her sleep at a hospice care facility after battling lung, liver, and brain cancer. . . .   She fought with prayer and family support,  with chemo and radiation, and with more prayer and family support. Paul and I saw her this past May 17, when we took her and her sister, Donna, out for breakfast at Bob Evan’s in Findlay. Susie was bald, delicate, and so beautiful. Although all the girls were/are pretty, Susie was the beautiful one of the cousins, in my opinion, our family’s Snow White: dark nearly black hair, fair skinned, deep blue eyes, perfect features in a heart shaped face.  Susie and Donna along with my sister, Elaine, and I have precious memories of playing dress up at Grandma Thomas’ house. Grandma always let us wear her hats — the ones in current use (all of them), not discarded hats. This knowledge has given us pause to respect her for honoring us with such a trust.

Susan was a reflective person which drew me to her. I loved her mellow “ha-ha.” Not a chuckle. Not a laugh so much. But a pleasant and positive “ha-ha.” Her voice was lower, an easy listening voice. Susie drew from our family’s musical heritage, loved the piano (as all we girl cousins do) and majored in music in college. I remember Susie playing the piano and singing at her brother’s wedding. I would have been too nervous to do that.  Susie has three daughters in their 30s, a handsome husband, Bobbie, and six grandchildren with one more on the way.  Susie has been highly involved in the lives of her young grandchildren who all live nearby.

I am so glad that she had 62 years to invest in this life. I’m glad that her family had all those years to receive her love and give her love. I am thankful that she was a good cousin to me, offering insight and wisdom at various points, even important counsel during my wedding reception, taking me aside to share just what she thought I would need. Though flawed with many idiosyncrasies, our family is blessed with a good and godly heritage.

Not Lost. We did not lose Holly Orange, Dustin DeFord, and Susan Kloeffer. You may have other names to add here.  We did not lose them; we know where they are.  Death is separation: the spirit separated from the body;  the one who has died parted from those who yet live on earth. We know more. Jesus is the resurrection who has overcome death. Death is the last accursed intruder. For the believer, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).  We too will be separated from our temporal bodies. Holly, Dustin, and Susan are Jesus lovers, modeling for us how to traverse the valley of the shadow of death.  “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).  “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16: 31). Saved from what? Saved from eternal separation from God. Saved from your sins. Saved in order to be transformed into a new person (II Corinthians 10:17), given new life, and eternal life.

Lost and found. We are lost until we let Jesus find us. The last sentence of a letter I received from Susan in May said, “My Lord Jesus Christ will be with me to the end.”  It took my breath away, for I too hoped the cancer battle would be won, and she’d have more life chapters to live. The chapter written the last two weeks clarified her story.  Sunday was her first book’s blessed ending but also her endless book’s beautiful beginning.

“Christ in me is to live; to die is to gain.”

Categories: Joy & Suffering -- Good & Evil, Spiritual Growth | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Lost and Found

  1. Amy

    Oh, Thank you, Karen. Your words are so beautiful, and your thoughts so honest and true, with a heart for God sounding through. Blessed.

  2. Anonymous

    beautiful tribute to beautiful lives. may the Lord continue to bless your gift of writing words of excellence that bring hope, thus healing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: