Beyond the Song: Mary Burke sings, “I Talk To God” By Jantina Baksteen
For this edition I spoke with Mary Burke who has a great new song out to radio, “I Talk To God.” Read her story.
Jantina Baksteen: Can you introduce yourself to the readers of SGNScoops?
Mary Burke: My name is Mary Burke and I am a Southern/Country gospel singer-writer. I have been singing all of my life and have been in church all of my life. I have been traveling for the past five years and trying to share my music and my heart that way. Me and my husband travel, and I sing, and he gives his testimony of how God has brought him from a mighty long way. My husband has been recovering from a severe brain injury for the last 12 years of his life. He has made several improvements and is a complete miracle from God. We are forever thankful for what God has done in our lives and want to share what he has done for us with others.
JB: How did you roll into music and have your own ministry?
MB: I have always loved to sing but I felt a call by God to sing for him and I knew it was a calling. I started to really get serious about having my own ministry with my husband and me when he got hurt. I knew that if God brought us through this that we would have so much to share of what he has done.
JB: Who are your musical influences?
MB: My music influences would be Michael English, Sandi Patty, and Amy Grant.
JB: Right now, you have an amazing song put out to radio that is called, “I Talk To God.” It’s on your new album, “I Talk To God.” Are you the writer of this song?
MB: I am not the writer of the song “I Talk To God.” I chose it because I loved the lyrics and the country feel of it.
JB: When I hear you sing the song, it is as if you shout or cry out to God. What is your personal story behind it?
MB: My personal story to the song is just what it says: “I Talk To God.” I do this every day and every night. He tells me that I am not alone and no matter what comes, wherever I go, every stumbling block can turn in to a stepping stone. When I feel I can’t go on, he carries me until all the hurt is gone. He is with me and I talk to him and I am never alone.
JB: There is a line where you sing of hurt and you can’t go on. What is the story behind that?
MB: There have been many times in my life where I have felt so much hurt and thought that I couldn’t go on. When my husband was hurt in a catastrophic motorcycle accident, I felt this way. I had three young boys and I was in my twenties at the time. God says he will carry us through these times when we feel we can’t go on, with every breath we are holding on, but he will carry us if we will talk to him and allow him too.
JB: Could you share the readers what happened to you husband?
MB: My husband David was on his way home from visiting his dad in a hospital on a Friday night. David had called me to see if I would go for a ride on his motorcycle with him when he got home from work. I didn’t really like the motorcycle much, because this chopper doesn’t have a normal passenger seat. When David called, I was at his parents with Grandma. David and I had three little boys at that time: David, Jr., seven, Daniel, four, and Dawson, two. Our boys were with me at David’s parents. I had asked her that night if she would watch the kids while me and David went for a quick ride that evening. She said only if I only would write a note down on a paper saying that if something happened to us, the kids would go to her. I did that and went home. I wasn’t feeling too good about the idea of the motorcycle ride but would do anything to please my husband. I was out of the shower, I had that same feeling again. I knew something was wrong. I told myself to sit and wait a bit longer, but at a certain time I would go out and find him. I had tried calling him several times but no answer. I went out to start looking for him and I saw an ambulance rush by our house. We lived on a main road and it was the only (way) David would come home. I jumped in the car and began to see visions of lights flash before my eyes. I was too far from the accident at the time to see the lights, but I believe God was preparing me. I finally came to the lights and called my mother-in-law and told her I was at the accident scene. I hadn’t even confirmed it yet, but I already knew in my spirit. I confirmed it with the officer but he had to hold me back because of everything. David was taken by ambulance to a local hospital but then immediately life flighted to the U.T., or University of Toledo, Ohio. When I called the U.T. to find out what was going on, they said he was going to get a craniotomy as soon as possible. When I saw David that night he wasn’t responsive at all. He had blood coming out of his ears and head. His hands were so cold. I said, “Jesus, please hold my hand, and fix him, and don’t let him fade away. He’s my husband and father of our boys. I can’t do this alone.” David stayed in the hospital for nine months. After that, he had to learn everything all over again, and to breathe on his own. Twelve years later, he is my miracle man, and God has been with us every step of the way, since I brought him home from the hospital. Today he can walk with a walker; with assistance walk, eat, and much more. He can drive a car with someone with him at all times. I’m his caregiver but wouldn’t have it any other way.
I remember one night shortly after the accident, me and our boys were laying in bed trying to sleep. David, Jr., Daniel and Dawson. David, Jr., asked me if daddy would ever come home and be the same when he came home. I told him, yes, he will come home eventually, and no, he wouldn’t be the same. I explained to him that in life we all change from day to day and year in year. I said in a few years you won’t be the same either. I explained to him that the accident just changed daddy quicker, but daddy would still love him. Our family has made it in this new normal, for the past 13 years with God’s help. Our boys Daniel, Jr., 20, Daniel, 17, and Dawson, 14, have grown up. And David is there with us to be the dad God wanted him to be. I am one blessed wife and daughter of a King who I talk to everyday. God is my source and help, and I am thankful that He has brought me out of the darkness into the marvelous light. David and I owe our lives to him and that is why we travel and testify of what he has done for us. The Bible says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
JB: What message of hope can you share to the readers specially in this time and day, when the world is shaken through this Coronavirus.
MB: I want people to know that even though we are dealing with uncertain things in our life we are not alone. God wants us to talk to him and he is right here with us through whatever we may face. He wants us to step out in faith and trust him and not lean on our own understanding, or anyone else and their understanding. Lean on God and talk to him and let him carry us through all of the trials we face. He says no matter what comes, wherever we go, know that every stumbling block can turn into a stepping stone. I believe this because his word says in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV)
JB: Who is on your bucket list, musically, to spend dinner with and have a good conversation?
MB: I would love to have dinner with Karen Peck! I have been in her company before and have been at the same restaurant but never the same dinner table yet!
JB: What is ahead for you in the near future?
MB: David and I have three boys who are almost grown, so we will be empty-nesters in the near future. We plan to travel full-time and do the work that God has called us during our later years in life. If our health will allow, we will do this until we take our last breath. I believe our later years will be greater than our former years. David is working on a book called, “Broken to Love.” This book is coming and will be about our love story and how we have been broken together.
JB: Where can we find you on the website?
Thank you, Mary, for sharing your ministry with SGNScoops. We pray that the work you do through song ministers to others and brings them to salvation, or encourages them through their daily lives.
By Jantina Baksteen
Jantina Baksteen is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.