Leave It There - Charles A. Tindley

Charles A. Tindley was a distinguished and well-respected pastor and leader in Philadelphia.  When a troubled member of his congregation came to him for counsel, Charles kindly said, “Put all your troubles in a sack, take ‘em to the Lord, and leave ‘em there.” Inspired by the conversation, he wrote both the words and music to “Leave It There” in 1916. 


Tindley was no stranger to trouble and hardships, having been born into a household of slavery in 1851. His mother died before he was 5 years old, and he was soon separated from his father and reared by his aunt.  After Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, young Charles taught himself to read and write. He worked as the caretaker of a church while attending night school, and he completed a correspondence course in theology and mastered Hebrew and Greek. 


He was ordained, and in 1902 he became the pastor of the church where he had been caretaker. Tindley was a captivating preacher in the pulpit and on the street corner. The church grew and was named the Tindley Temple Methodist Church (in spite of his protesting). The multiracial, multicultural congregation had grown to over 10,000 members by the time of his death in 1933. 


As well as being a dynamic preacher, Charles Tindley wrote a number of gospel hymns that spoke to the needs of the people. This particular song expresses the advice given by Peter: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:6-7). Material and health needs, relationships, and the burdens of old age are all addressed. 

Four times the refrain reminds the weary one to “Leave it there.” 

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" (Psalm 55:22). 

If the world from you withhold, of its silver and its gold, 
And you have to get along with meager fare, 
Just remember, in his word, how he feeds the little bird; 
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. 
Leave it there, leave it there, 
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there; 
If you trust and never doubt, he will surely bring you out; 
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.  
If your body suffers pain, and your health you can’t regain, 
And your soul is almost sinking in despair, 
Jesus knows the pain you feel, he can save and he can heal; 
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. 
When your enemies assail, and your heart begins to fail, 
Don’t forget that God in heaven answers prayer; 
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through; 
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. 

When your youthful days are gone, and old age is stealing on, 
And your body bends beneath the weight of care, 
He will never leave you then, he’ll go with you to the end; 
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. 


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