Who or what is O.I. “Cricket” Harrison?

When I wrote Sisters in Song, I just got the tip of the iceberg.  Several Sundays ago, we sang the hymn “Restless Weaver.” The hymnal said it was written by O.I. Cricket Harrison.  I had earlier thought that was a man’s name, but the hymn’s wording and imagery was so . . . feminine.   God as a restless weaver?!  A little looking into this name turned up a woman!  Ola Irene Harrison was a Kansas native, born in 1955 but graduated in 1973 as an Odessa, Texas High School panther.  She is an ordained Disciples minister and has served several churches.   She taught worship and church music at Lexington Theological Seminary and was on the development committee for the Chalice Hymnal and Chalice Praise Hymnal for the Disciples of Christ. She not only wrote hymns, she translated others’ hymns into English.  Apparently, things have fallen through the cracks for this talented and loved musician.  She was hospitalized in September 2013 with several health problems but after release, couldn’t take care of her activities of daily living.  Without insurance or income, she was in a bind. Friends helped her out and a website, www.gofundme.com/6fydeo  was set up to give her some financial support.  It took some doing, but she finally was able to get approved for disability, I assume through Social Security.    She is a prime example of the need for a more comprehensive system for those who, through no fault of their own, are left to their own devices when they don’t have any devices.  In any event, her multiple contributions to hymnody illustrate a woman’s touch, even though her name as printed in the credits don’t give a clue to her gender. 

 

One thought on “Who or what is O.I. “Cricket” Harrison?

  1. I know her well! Perhaps 10-15 years ago I collaborated with Cricket on several national worship initiatives, not the least of which being a part of the Chalice Praise development committee.

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