Softly and Tenderly 

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.
Refrain:
Come home, come home;
ye 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?
(Refrain)

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.
(Refrain)

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.
(Refrain)

The other day, a friend of this blog, Lesley, contacted me because she has started a Facebook group for LGBT members of the Churches of Christ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheLGBTChurchofChrist/). She has also started a blog (http://churchofchristlesbian.blogspot.com), which I found to be quite wonderful. In one of her posts she tells about her background and that my blog helped her return to the church because she read my blog posts about the Churches of Christ. Here is what she said:

About that time I was also saying if I found it was okay to be a lesbian and in the Church I would go back and give it my all. I found that answer through some searching and reading. I then asked God if this is the path I was to walk and if so to show me a sign. That morning I went to a service and was given two. In the sermon the preacher said “Pagans run” and I have been my whole life. I was and am tired of running. Then he said, “Come home” and I knew right then that I needed to go back to the Church of Christ.

When I read about coming home, I could only think of the song above. It was composed and written by Will L. Thompson in 1880. Thompson was a member of the Churches of Christ, where several of his hymns and gospel songs continue in use. “Softly and Tenderly” is the most widely known of his compositions and has circulated far beyond its origins in the American Restoration Movement. It is among the most prolifically translated gospel songs and has spread appealingly into the repertoire of various fellowships of Christendom.

Softly and tenderly, Jesus was calling Lesley home. Welcome home ,Lesley. Check out Lesley’s blog and feel free to join her Facebook group.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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