Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.
O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.
Words: Will L. Thompson
When the world-renowned lay preacher, Dwight Lyman Moody, lay on his death bed in his Northfield, Massachusetts, home, Will Thompson made a special visit to inquire as to his condition. The attending physician refused to admit him to the sickroom, and Moody heard them talking just outside the bedroom door. Recognizing Thompson’s voice, he called for him to come to his bedside. Taking the Ohio poet-composer by the hand, the dying evangelist said, “Will, I would rather have written “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.”
This hymn was sung in the Academy Award winning movie Trip to Bountiful (1985), and at a memorial service for American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, April 8, 1968.
This hymn came to my mind again in the middle of the night this week while I was awake in bed and praying for some dear friends. What are you waiting for?