Book Review: Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

Last week my world got rocked. One of my long-time Twitter friends, and contributing editor over at The High Calling, Cheryl Smith introduced me to the work of Mary DeMuth. Cheryl had recommended her book Thin Places. I’m a little embarrassed to say that as much as I read, I had not come across any of DeMuth’s work before now. I felt like I had been living under a rock. I can’t believe what I had been missing!

Starting to get a summer cold that was floating around, I stayed home from work one day and thought I would catch up on some reading. I was not expecting this book to wring me inside out the way it did. It totally grabbed me by the throat. Mary’s story had such weight and urgency to it, and even more than that—her spiritual wisdom and depth shone a flashlight into the hidden hurt places of my own dark heart. This allowed for God to whisper to me about my need for His continued healing and growth from past grief and disappointments. Never fun, but always necessary if as a Christian I truly am seeking a crucified life through Jesus.

This book also gave me insight into my work that I was not expecting.

As an Executive Director of Family Life Services, a ministry where our core mission is to help hurting families— specifically single mothers and their children, Thin Places took me deep inside the family origin of so many of our clients. Often, as the administrator for FLS, I can get so removed from the actual felt needs of the folks we are called to serve. Budget planning, board meetings and performance reviews take me out of the day-to-day and personal interaction with our clients and their struggles. These everyday Jesus encounters often are reserved for our program staff. This book actually catapulted me into our families’ living spaces and gave me fresh eyes and a heart renewed for the non-profit ministry work I love.

I recommend this book to any nonprofit leader or ministry worker specifically if you work with women, families and abused or neglected children. DeMuth’s personal memoir is a walk through her own pain, childhood abuse and redemption song. And oh the redemption! It will take you on a journey to truly see God’s amazing grace.

Authentic. Vunerable. Gracious. That is exactly how DeMuth delivers in her book. I am forever changed having read it. I am now am reading some of her fiction as well. Usually I am wary of writers in the Christian fiction genre. Not to be fickle, but so many in this category come up with characters that are plastic and unbelievable. Not Mary DeMuth. I believe every word she writes about her characters, mainly due from the perspective I got from her through Thin Places. Pick up her work. You will be challenged and renewed.

What are you reading right now that is challenging you?

Comments

  1. I’m humbled by this review, and it came at a perfect time. I’m just so thankful you read the book and it blessed you, particularly as you work with folks with difficult backgrounds. This has been my hope for the book for two years. You’re an answer to prayer!

    • Mary, I have made it required reading for my whole staff. Thank you for having the courage to write His words. Humbled that you visited my blog. Blessings.

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