“Softly and Tenderly,” Comfort for All

Holy Cross Church

“Softly and Tenderly,” Comfort for All

by

Betty Mason Arthurs

A hymn, written during the horse and buggy days of the 1800s, soared across time and space. It swept into the hearts of the audience of the 2017 Country Music Awards. Performers and fans held their breath as on a large screen flashed 50 photos of those killed in the October massacre at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. Carrie Underwood sang the hymn, “Softly and Tenderly.” Wiping my tears, along with many others, I once again felt the comfort only God bestows in times of grief, especially through music. We also remember those lost in other attacks, the most recent in a tiny white church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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Preview YouTube video Carrie Underwood – Softly and Tenderly – In Memoriam (Live from the 51st Annual CMA Awards)

Carrie Underwood – Softly and Tenderly – In Memoriam (Live from the 51st Annual CMA Awards)
Will L. Thompson, author of this hymn, traveled by horse and buggy throughout Ohio in the 1800s. Born in November of 1847 in Liverpool, Ohio, Will loved writing and sharing his gospel songs. He attended Boston School of Music and eventually started his own publishing and music store business in East Liverpool and Chicago. Evangelist D.L. Moody and he were close friends and “Softly and Tenderly” was one of Moody’s favorites, often sung as a hymn of invitation in many great evangelistic meetings.

I’d like to share the words to this beautiful hymn:

  1. 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.

Chorus:

Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home,

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling–Calling O sinner, come home.

  1. 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?

Chorus:

  1. 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.

Chorus:

  1. O for the wonderful love He has promised, Promised for you and for me;

Tho we have sinned He has mercy and pardon, Pardon for you and for me.

Chorus:

Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home.

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling—Calling, O sinner, come home.

I sang this hymn many times during my childhood years but I had forgotten it until the night of the CMA event. I was raised in tiny white churches in small town America in the 1950s. I can still hear my parents’ voices lifted in song, dad’s tenor and mom’s alto, harmonizing on this gospel hymn. Now I find myself humming the tune or singing the words off and on all day as I pray for the families of those killed across our country and around the world. Its haunting melody and touching words bring me comfort as nothing else has.

My prayer is that you also find the comfort only God can give as we live in dangerous times, not giving into fear and depression. Many dear folk will be missing loved ones from their Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. May we echo the words of this hymn as we softly and tenderly pray for them.

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About Betty Mason Arthurs

I have been the CEO of my family for years...translation: I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, owned by two cats, and often drive my husband crazy. I have belonged to Tuesday's Children for over 20 years and without them my writing skill would have been left in rejection piles all across America. I am a non-fiction author who has leaped into novel writing and having fun in my memories of nursing school in the 1960s. We'll see if I can do an e-book with the adventures of my first novel. I am a Christian who isn't perfect but loves the Lord Jesus and I never take much that happens too seriously due to my weird sense of humor. And I'll talk about my seven grandchildren nonstop if you want me to. Blessings on all of you.
This entry was posted in America, Church, Death and Dying, Grief, loneliness on holidays, Remembering, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, When life seems too much and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Softly and Tenderly,” Comfort for All

  1. Judy Robertson says:

    Tender memories of how this hymn has touched hearts through the years and is still causing hearts to turn to God in our time. Thank you Betty for this reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Little Sister, for a very heart-felt comment on a favorite “invitation” gospel song. I share your memories of Dad and Mom–their singing together–and their consistent Christian lives. One does wonder if invitations to come forward at church to pray is a missing part of today’s worship. Big Brother Don

    Liked by 1 person

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