I received the book discussed in the following post, free-of-charge, for the purpose of review.

When I first heard about Mary DeMuth’s memoir, Thin Places, I was intrigued with the title. “What’s a ‘thin place’?” I thought to myself.

When I cracked the book open, I was pleased to find the answer to this question right away:

“The Celts define a “thin place” as a place where heaven and the physical world collide, one of those serendipitous territories where eternity and the mundane meet. Thin describes the membrane between the two worlds, like a piece of vellum, where we see a holy glimpse of the eternal – not in digital clarity, but clear enough to discern what lies beyond.”

Working under this definition, Thin Places not only recalls these “glimpses of the eternal” from the pages of DeMuth’s life and memory, but becomes, itself, a thin place.

With startling honesty and a vulnerability rarely seen in society today, DeMuth walks us through her experiences with early abuse, loss, and the ramifications of each throughout her life. Truthfully, it can be a painful read at times, but never gives way to despair or hopelessness; quite the contrary. As each memory of her life is held up for examination, it reveals itself as a “thin place” with the light of holiness – of hope – shining through. Readers are left to reflect on their own lives and called to “discover new ways to look for God in the past so [they] might experience Him more profoundly in the present.”

On a personal note, as I read I was reminded of a time when my daughter cut her foot on a cracked tile in a swimming pool. The wound was superficially cleaned and dressed, but it was apparent after a day or two that it needed further attention. Even though it had begun to knit back together, it wasn’t getting better and was causing her a lot of pain. The doctor had to reopen the wound, deep-clean it, and glue it closed. Without going back to examine the initial wound, it wouldn’t have healed properly, and likely would’ve infected her foot and beyond. Only the allowance of a physician’s touch to the closely guarded pain could bring about complete and thorough healing.

Such is the case with Mary DeMuth’s life. She’s gone back to address the initial wounds, bravely presenting her pain to her Physician for healing and seeing His goodness and mercy in ways she never imagined. Deep wounds. Thin Places.

Even if we’ve never shared her experiences in our lives, we all know someone who has. Buy the book. Read it. Share it. And, in so doing, catch a “holy glimpse of the eternal” for yourself.