Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mary DeMuth's Thin Places

If thin places are those moments in which we are allowed to peer through the veil and glimpse God’s grace, then Mary DeMuth’s Thin Places is itself such an experience.

With this moving memoir, author Mary DeMuth struggles to make sense of her life, to find answers to all the whys. Why was she molested? Why did her father die? Why did her stepdads leave? Why didn’t her mother love her more? The weight of personal violation burdens her shoulders. The grief of fatherly loss shatters her heart. The glare of the victim target illuminates her shame. Mary frets about incompetence until she reaches that thin place of acceptance and realizes that despite many deep and lasting emotional injuries, God is more than capable of restoring and making her whole. For He is all she needs.

God repairs wounds. He pacifies sorrow. He fills voids.

I share Mary’s brokenness. I too am flawed, helplessly selfish, needy, and clay-footed, as Mary describes herself on page 100. Though, thankfully, I have not been physically assaulted, I certainly have experienced ample portions of pain. And what I realize, the blessing I receive from Mary’s message, is that I need to stop attempting to fix those broken areas myself. I know that God is all I need, but I don’t always allow Him to BE all I need.

I have been a Christian most of my life. Although I am no longer an infant Christian, sometimes I still crave pure spiritual milk so I may taste that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:2). Thin places remind me that I am ever in a state of maturing. Thin Places quenches my thirst.

A line from an old movie states, “I gave her my heart; she gave me a pen.” Mary DeMuth gave Jesus her heart and He gave her a pen. However, unlike the breakup scene of that film, Jesus’ gift to Mary was not meant to cover up a wound. His pen—or computer—enables Mary to expose human frailty and to reveal God’s grace to the world. Of the effects of her writing, Mary says, “I could say my writing is all for me, and it’d be a hint of truth…He shows me that my paltry words touch others…All I can say is: let the healing begin” (DeMuth, p. 70). For this reader it has.

Thank you, Mary, for allowing God to work through you in this mighty way. Thank you for reliving these memories, for recording the challenges of your life, and for offering your transparency as a thin place.



Compensation Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for reviewing it on my blog.

4 comments:

Denise Miller Holmes said...

So many have talked about this book. When a person is abused, it is so healing to hear of how another has mended, especially if that journey included a loving Savior.

Mary DeMuth said...

What a beautiful blog, and such a sweet review. Thank you so much!

Jodi Whisenhunt said...

Thank you, Mary! I'm curious, and perhaps you'll blog about it, how do reviews of your very personal life story affect you emotionally? Anything a writer publishes exposes a bit of himself/herself to the scrutiny of strangers. I can only imagine how it feels to let the world in on your darkest secrets. I'm certain your readers have been blessed by your message. I hope their responses bless you in return!

Mary DeMuth said...

It's terribly hard, actually. I try to protect my heart, and I have a prayer team covering me, particularly this week.

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