Scripture Verse

He’s calling you! Mark 10:49


Will L. Thompson (1847–1909)

Words & Mu­sic: Will L. Thomp­son, in Spark­ling Gems, Nos. 1 and 2, by J. Cal­vin Bush­ey (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Will L. Thomp­son, 1880) (🔊 pdf nwc).


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 sick room, and Moo­dy heard them talk­ing just out­side the bed­room door.

Recognizing Thomp­son’s voice, he called for him to come to his bed side. 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.

Emurian, p. 109

This hymn was sung at a me­mor­ial ser­vice for Am­eri­can ci­vil rights lead­er Mar­tin Lut­her King, at the Eb­en­ez­er Bap­tist Church, At­lan­ta, Geor­gia, April 8, 1968, and in the 1985 Aca­de­my Award win­ning mo­vie Trip to Boun­ti­ful.


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.