Podcast Episode 04: My Mother’s Name is Mary


Curt with Kakwa Boy Wajo Camp
Curt with Kakwa Boy
Wajo Camp

A word from Curt

The story below is a departure from my African stories.

I write what my hearts tells me to.

This story was both conceived and born yesterday.

Enjoy! Be Grateful!

Read “Beth’s Satellite Phone” from our latest newsletter.

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My Mother is Named Mary

 You can also listen to the Podcast audio of this story as read by Curt: 

<iframe style=”border: none” src=”//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/2795626/height/360/width/640/theme/legacy/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/” height=”360″ width=”640″ scrolling=”no”  allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>Jesus and His Mother Mary:

It’s a reminder that even when your child is perfect(ly obedient) you may not understand him or her.


I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary this week.

For some reason, I’ve viewed Jesus’ Passion Week

Through the eyes of His mother.

I picture her standing faithfully at the Cross

In full blown sorrow and grief,

But unwilling to step away.

My Jesus, in spite of his pain and ordeal,

Nodding to his best friend John,

“Son, this is your mother.”

Then to Mary,  “Mother, this is your son.”



Only mothers can understand motherhood.


That’s the Jesus I love.

Dying for the sins of the world

Yet still concerned about his momma.

Where I come from that’s the mark of a real man:

Concern for one’s family even in the midst of the storm.


I’ve always wondered how Mary viewed the adult Jesus.

The scriptures say, “His mother and brothers came to take him home  . . . “

I’d especially like to know about their post-Resurrection relationship.

I bet it was something.


This Easter weekend, four French journalists were freed

After nearly a year as hostages in Syria.

Their public statements were emotional.

One said,  “We volunteered to be in Syria

But it was our families who suffered the most.”


Once again, I thought of Jesus and Mary.

I wonder what He told her during that Passover Week of his coming death.

I especially would’ve like to have been a bug on the wall

When they first met after Resurrection Sunday.

Did He say, “Mother, I’m sorry you had to see all of this”?


I wonder if the pain of watching her son suffer ever went away.

The angel had said,  “Your heart will be pierced . . .”

Pierced hearts heal slowly, if ever at all.

I’m sure she always had a little sad place in her heart

from that Friday we now call Good.


It’s so true that Mary’s son,  my Jesus, was perfect and without sin.

A parental reminder that even when your child is perfect(ly obedient)

You may not understand him or her.


*  *  *

My own mother is named Mary.

Mary Virginia Plott Iles.

It’s a good name to have

And Momma has worn it well for nearly eighty years.


Her son (me) is a long long long ways from being perfect.

However, she believes her nine grandchildren are all free of original sin.

This belief of perfection extends to her ten great-grandchildren.


I think about times when my actions caused she and Daddy pain.

Words spoken angrily.

Poor decisions.

Teenage stupidity.


But most of all, I think about my parent’s sorrow

When I was knocked flat by depression in the year 2000.

I call it my Train Wreck.

You can call it a breakdown, crash, or meltdown.

All those terms apply.


During the depths of those dark months

I would spend each day at their house.

DeDe, Clint, and Terry would drive to school

And I’d drive to Mom and Dad’s.


Seriously depressed people don’t need to be alone.

I didn’t have much sense at that time but knew that.


The Mockingbird's Song contains essays on my journey through depression.
The Mockingbird’s Song contains essays on my journey through depression.

It bothered me so much for them to see me like that.


Dry inside.



In the dark.


They were suffering along with me.

I’m thankful for their faithfulness.

I’m grateful for DeDe and our boys and how they stood by me.

I’ve never gotten over that.

It has left me with a abiding sense of gratitude.

However,  I’ve still got a little sad place in my heart

Not from depression

But from the sadness, even suffering, they shared with me.

I live everyday grateful for my health.

Especially my mental health.

I’m humbled by it all.

But for the grace of God, I could be right back in the dark.


I never thought, back in 2000, that we’d be here in Africa

Having the best days of ministry yet.


I’ve learned so much more (and still am) about serving

This Man-God

Called Jesus.

His mother was named Mary

And so is mine.








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