Monday, May 28, 2012

Lurrene Czeshin, co-songwriter

Once in awhile a chance meeting can lead to some unexpected surprises.  
By the way, the last name on the heading of this post is not pronounced the way it's spelled.  You pronounce the last name to rhyme with the first, which results in a very musical-sounding name.  
Because I was asked to sing at church last Sunday, I dug out the old songs I wrote back in the 90's, dusted them off, and practiced them a little.  I separated the ones I consider to be good from the big stack of mediocre.  One of my favorites of the "good" ones is called "God's Patchwork Quilt", and if Lurrene had not dropped by one day to ask a favor, it would never have been written.  Back then I used to sing at various local functions, and when I sang this song I sometimes jokingly said that Lurrene was the co-writer.  

A group of ladies met on Tuesdays at Napoleon Methodist Church to quilt.  Once a year they would invite ladies from other churches to join them.  They would have a little program, refreshments, and a devotional, and they'd all gather round the quilt frames, stitching and chatting.        
Back then I was making myself write a poem every day, sort of a project, a challenge.  As you can imagine, this resulted in a lot of lousy poetry, but sometimes a good one came forth from my efforts.  Lurrene, a lady I only knew as my neighbor Diane's aunt, called one afternoon and asked if she could come and talk to me, and I told her to come ahead.  
She wondered if perhaps I could come up with a poem "or something" that would work into the theme of their upcoming ladies' day.  The theme was "quilts".  
If someone gave me a one-word topic today and asked me to write a poem, I probably would not even attempt it, but back then I was a pretty prolific writer, so I told her I was sure I could come up with something.  
As I started writing, I realized this poem needed to become a song, so I started strumming chords on my guitar and came up with a tune.  As with the very few good songs I've written, the thing absolutely wrote itself.  I could hardly write the words down as fast as they came to me.  
So last week, as I went through the songs trying to decide which one to sing at church, Lurrene Czeshin came to mind every time I would run through "God's Patchwork Quilt.  It was the song I was going to sing, but I decided to let Cliff choose, and he picked a different one.  He wouldn't have cared what I sang, but I went with his choice.    
Lurrene died yesterday at the age, I believe, of ninety, and now I wonder if I was supposed to sing Patchwork Quilt after all.  I would have been singing it at about the time she died.    


When you're in someone's house and see a pretty quilt displayed
Did you ever stop to think about the way that it was made?
Somebody took some remnants and they trimmed them down to size
And created something beautiful that's fit to win a prize.  
Now a person without Jesus isn't much to brag about,
Just a dirty, ragged remnant that the devil would throw out.
But Jesus' blood has cleansed us and acquitted us from guilt
And He's found a place to put us in His lovely patchwork quilt.  

The pieces all are different, but we share these noble goals:
A life that's worth the living and salvation of the soul!
God trims my ragged edges and conforms me to His will,
And if sometimes I unravel, well, He's working on me still.
Isaiah said our righteousness is naught but filthy rags;
So nothing I could do would give me any cause to brag.
But I'm a part of something for which Jesus' blood was spilt
And when we all work together, we're a lovely patchwork quilt.  

We're different shapes and sizes, yes, and different colors too,
But we're all necessary from the Father's point of view.
We each one need the other to perform without a hitch,
So the Lord binds us in unity with love in every stitch.  
We once were ragged remnants but we're now a work of art,
And what God joins together, let nobody tear apart!
Don't ever take for granted this old Church that Jesus built,
For He died that we might all become his lovely patchwork quilt.  


darev2005 said...

Very nice.

I'm sure she'd be happy to hear you singing that again.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Yes I think it was meant to be. It's a lovely tribute too. You are so blessed to be able to put some lovely thoughts into words like that.


Lurrene Czeshin is smiling from heaven. What a beautiful song Donna. God's Patchwork Quilt is a fitting tribute. take care.

Sandisan said...

lovely words and it would make a great song. I had no idea you loved poetry, I do too. One of my blogs is nothing but poetry of all types that I have written. You should do a blog with only poetry or stories, you write very well...:)

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I just adore the song/poem! Thank you for sharing it. And may I ask a favor? I produce the bulletin for our own rural church each week and would be very honored if you'd allow me to include this poem in an upcoming issue. Full credit given to you, of course. - Barbara
Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Jackie said...

I remember purchasing a book of poetry from you a few years ago, Donna, and I enjoyed every one of those poems. I would love to hear you sing the song above. I wish you had it recorded or would record it. I think that would be so beautiful and heartfelt to hear. I know you probably won't do it, but it sure would be lovely to hear. That's a beautiful poem.. just beautiful, and I'm sure your friend would have loved to hear you sing it.

Donna said...

Barbara, feel free to share it, as long as my name is attached.

Sherry said...

It would be great if you could sing it at her funeral. hugs, Sherry

Melissa Wiggins said...

Your song is lovely -- and Memorial Day was a perfect day for sharing it. Thank you. MGW

CountryDew said...

What a great poem and song! I love that. You have a great talent.

Hollie said...

I LOVE the song!! Just beautiful!!!

Adirondackcountrygal said...

That is lovely!

Lori said...

Beautiful! You are a very talented lady.