• Eric Clark

I'm Telling Jesus

Gospel legend Beverly Glenn wrote the song “Tell Jesus” and released it on her 1973 debut solo album with Savoy Records. The song reflects her gifted ability to soothe a person vocally and give a little food for thought lyrically. The ballad tells of Jesus’ redemptive and restorative ability. “Jesus knows what you need,” she sings, and sweetly exhorts us to “Tell Jesus” —in fact, just “pour out to Jesus.”

One can’t help but wonder exactly what could be the mainspring of a song with such an enriching message. So definitive. So assertive. Tell Jesus!

The first thing that comes to mind is the era in which it was written and performed: 1973. Richard Nixon was president, and drug abuse gripped public attention in the same way the COVID epidemic grips it now. In fact, Nixon called drug abuse “Public Enemy Number One.” Drugs were everywhere; just listen to the metaphors in “Jesus Made Me Higher,” on the same gospel album, for reference. The monstrosity of it all, of so many people turning to drugs as a coping mechanism, and so much violence blossoming around the illegal drug trade, even among those whom society admired, was an equal mix of befuddling and horrifying, to many gospel fans. Glenn’s overall point, undoubtedly, was that whatever may have you befuddled… tell Jesus.

Glenn’s voice is convincing throughout the song. The certainties of life become clear from her perspective. And that’s one of the faith factors embedded within the ballad: “Tell Jesus” is heavy in conviction.

“Just Tell Jesus… surely He’ll know just what to tell you… so if your body is all wrecked with pain… and your strength you just can’t seem to regain… when your friends say they’re with you come rain or shine… and when the deal comes down them you cannot find…tell Jesus (tell my Jesus.)”

Let me just say this, I’m just as convinced by her lyrics as I am as certain her record played without pause on repeat an entire night.

A look into the relevance of the song is mind-blowing. Today, COVID takes center stage. Drugs are even more prevalent. And economic despair accentuates both the addiction problem and the contagion problem. A psychological battle steered by the prophetic act of unburdening your soul: Tell Jesus. In 2022, we had best believe the message of this song. It is fitting for our time.

Glenn’s voice also carries a lament through these past five decades, pulled from the previous twenty centuries of believers trusting Jesus with their troubles. Her voice and lyrics encapsulate one’s deepest worries, concerns. Her sweet lament assures that none of us are going through life’s ups and downs alone. Everyone has a “Tell Jesus” situation. And while she’s still alive to attest to its truth, she’ll make sure you believe every word of the song.

Yes, you can …you must …it’s high time that you …Tell Jesus!

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