Softly And Tenderly

April 2, 2008

Alan Jackson’s rendition of this beautiful hymn was played at my grandma’s funeral today.  My dad chose it because it was playing on the stereo when she left this world, and entered into heaven.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear it again with dry eyes. 

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?

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

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.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

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.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

The other songs chosen were, “Precious Lord Take My Hand”, and a beautiful, fitting song about a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s called, “Only Sleeping”.  The speakers were worderful, and did an exceptional job conveying the worderfulness that was my grandma. 

My favorite moment was unplanned, and unnoticed by most.  Throughout the service, I held my youngest on my lap.  He was a little restless, and took to puting tissues on his head, as a hat, to entertain himself.  I thought to myself how my grandma would enjoy that.  How she would laugh heartily at him, and try to locate a camera, to preserve the moment.  As a big crocodile tear escaped my eyes, and landed squarely on my son, he looked up at me, grabbed the tissue from his head, and wiped my eyes for me.  It was so beautiful and touching.

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9 Responses to “Softly And Tenderly”

  1. Brian Says:

    So sweet. I love that song and remember it being sung in church when I was a kid.

  2. Red Says:

    Oh man, that was tough to read .. so sad, Alyson .. and yet your boy went all out and was a big boy to dry your tears. Kids are precious.

    I get what you’re saying about not being able to hear that song again with a dry eye …. same with me and Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up”. That played at my sister’s funeral .. . gut wrenching, really.

    I hope all is well with you and your family at this time.


  3. What a lovely story– you got me all teary.

    I absolutely love that song.

  4. Jenny Says:

    My sympathies. You’re lucky to have such a great family.

  5. Alyson Says:

    @ Brian: Thank you. I have always liked that song, but the “Deathbeds are coming…” line has always creeped me out a little.

    @ Red: They are precious. They understand so much more than we think they do.

    It’s really amazing how songs touch us. I have the same problem with the hymn, “Blessed Assurance”, as that song was mentioned in the eulogy of my best friend. I cringe every time the church songleader announces “page 369”.

    We are doing really well. Yesterday was harder than I anticipated, with all the memories being brought up.

    @ moonbeam: Thanks so much. Consider it payback for all the times you got me teary eyed. (One of the last time I visited my grandma, I heard “Secret Agent Man”, blaring from another resident’s TV as I walked by).

    @ Jenny: Thank you so much. I am indeed blessed.


  6. Children are so wonderfully authentic, aren’t they?

  7. Alyson Says:

    They sure are. My oldest asked me all afternoon, why are you crying? And told me to stop.

  8. Allison Says:

    Ahhhh…I love Softly and Tenderly too (I have a really good version by Rebecca Lynn Howard on CD).

    My brother-in-law sang Remember When at my mother-in-law’s and father-in-law’s funerals. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Alan Jackson has an incredible way with sentimental words.

  9. Alyson Says:

    I will have to check out the Rebecca Lynn Howard version.

    What a great story, and song. I’ve never been a really big AJ fan, but I will have to get his album with the old hymns on it.


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