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"Thin Places" by Mary DeMuth | A Review

"Are you sad?" I ask him. We stand on our balcony, arms tangled, souls weaving within the tapestry of shared space, shared lives. Our eyes find stars a million miles away.
    He hesitates, choosing words.
    "I don't know," he says.
Pregnant moments need fewest whispers. His warmth draws me close; I snuggle, womb throbbing, keening with emptiness. So rejected, before. Being, personhood, heart, body, mind. Not enough, not good enough. Yet I welcome, love, want, and crave ~ empty does not make sense.
    It ripples, this portal between eternal and temporary. Perhaps this is when He passes by?
    Yes, says Mary DeMuth. In Thin Places ~ A Memoir, her words craft glimpses of what we hope for, yet sometimes cannot see. She stretches towards infinity and brushes mortal with everlasting.
"Thin places are snatches of holy ground." 
–Mary DeMuth, “Thin Places”

    So long ago, I fill womb. I, first a dream, then frail and breathless with soft flutters of life. My mother ~ holy ground, as the fingertips of God enter the sacred and knit bone, skin, soul in a reflection of Him.  
    "You look like Your Father" ~ words I crave, seek in the utter longing of frail-becoming as life thins me, makes me weak.
    And she is no stranger to longing, to pain. Through intimate poetry-prose, DeMuth unveils her soul and walks us through moments in her life when the portal ripples, shimmers. "Thin places are snatches of time, moments really, when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways." Birthed words, conceived through poignant intersections, spilled from experience. Shame, abandonment, abuse. Achingly spirit-thin, frail.
    I lay hand on barrenness, close eyes.
    Emptiness: thin place?
    Like an older sister showing us our Father's heart, Mary DeMuth offers a peek into unabashed vulnerability and invites us to witness Emmanuel ~ God with us, in our thinnest places. In the moments we regret, wish we could re-do, re-live, erase. When our soul-shatters leave sharpest pieces. Even when we push Him away. Yet DeMuth also weaves gospel-love throughout her journey. We follow little Mary, ravaged and tormented, to the wife and mother she becomes, with a love for Jesus and a humble desire to comfort with the comfort she's received. As we watch God transform her pain, we learn to recognize His hand within our own.
    In the hands of Jesus, her crucible becomes redemption.

“I claw at the seams of life, questioning God’s ways, seldom realizing that if I’d stop clawing, I would capture new glimpses of Him through the thin places. God woos me from behind the veil through the tragedies, beauties, surprises, simplicities and snatches of my life I might overlook.” –Mary DeMuth, “Thin Places”

    I ache, awareness of rejection stinging fresh. Why so empty, when I have much to give? Yet His spirit hovers, breathing life to barren places. He stills restless waters, taps emptiness with Himself. To want the unwanted. Is that not You? Your calling?
    The stars glimmer and husband's arms tighten as though pulling me to his soul. "We could always adopt," he says, heart-echoes answering mine.
    "Or try to help others not hurt anymore." A solitary tear wets my cheek. On this portal, between the temporary and eternal, between our life, His, and a thousand others craving love, we catch a glimpse behind the veil; even now frail and breathless, we poise with the soft flutters of life.
    We stand on holy ground, he and I.
    And the Maker of stars, Emmanuel.

~ Hillary McFarland
Win a copy of Thin Places!
To win my review copy of Thin Places ~ A Memoir by Mary DeMuth, provided by Zondervan, please join me on facebook and leave a comment about a thin place in your life. On Saturday, February 13th, a friend will choose a winning entry to receive the book.

To view the Thin Places book trailer, click here. 
Mary DeMuth

Author and speaker Mary DeMuth helps people turn their trials to triumph. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Building the Christian Family You Never Had; Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions; Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture and the first two books in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy: Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn.
National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, Point of View and U.S.A. Radio Network and is frequently featured on Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint. She has published articles in In Touch, HomeLife, Writer’s Digest and The Writer.
Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas.
Learn more about Mary at http://marydemuth.com. 
Visit the other bloggers participating on the "Thin Places" tour:

A Christian Writer’s World
A Godly Wife on Purpose
A Musing Mom
AP Free Writing 101
Audience of One
Audrey Hebbert
Beams of Light Ministries
Becoming God’s Woman
Best Days of My Life
Book Reviews
Calling All Aspiring Writers of Non-Fiction
Carla’s Writing Cafe
Carly Bird’s Home
Carma’s Window,
Character Counts
Chatting at the Sky
Declaring His Marvelous Work
Elisabeth K. Corcoran
Eternity Cafe
Fiction for the Restless Reader
Following My King
Ginger O’Neill Ministries
God Uses Broken Vessels
Gracefull Girl
Heading Home
His Reading List
Iron Makeover
Jean’s Encouraging Words for Writers
Jeanette Goes to Russia (again)
Joyful Scribe
Julie Ferwerda
Karen Ehman
Kathy Howard
Life on the Wild Side
Messy Cars and Muddy Shoes
Mocha with Linda
Musings of Edwina
My Song
New Horizon Reviews
One Desert Rose
Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts
Peace of Mind
Quivering Daughters
Rose McCauley, Christian Author
Sage Girls Ministries
Scraps of Life
Set Free Today
Sharing Sharon
Sheila Deeth
Sherri Woodbridge
Sky-High View
Terra Garden
The Gospel Writer
The Hahn Hunting Lodge
The Heart of Writing
The Journey of Writer Danica Favorite
The Stubborn Servant
The Wellspring
Thoughts from a Treasured Wretch
Walls Down
Word Vessel
Writer’s Wanderings


  1. I can look back at my fragile life and see where Jesus footprints are.
    When He walked with me and when He carried me.
    Thank you for your review.

  2. Beautiful prose, Hillary! Thanks for featuring the book!

  3. I have the song Emmanuel ~ God with us in my head now. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words.

  4. Wow! You captured Mary's concept of thin places well in your telling of one of your own thin places.


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