Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review - Thin Places

 I don't usually put book reviews here. The Christian Naturalist's purpose is to explore God's character and gain spiritual lessons from nature. Thin Places, A Memoir by Mary DeMuth is a book about discovering God's character and lessons in life's circumstances. So I didn't think you'd mind. I encourage you to look for the book and Mary's other books as well and let me know what you think.

“I, myself, am a thin place.” DeMuth says in the first paragraph. “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…I’m broadening the metaphor a bit. Thin places are snatches of time, moments really, when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways. They are aha moments, beautiful realizations, when the Son of God bursts through the heavy fog of our monotony and shines on us afresh.” ~opening lines from Thin Places by Mary DeMuth.

From the first pages of the book, DeMuth piques the reader’s longing for the spiritual. She shines a light on our own yearning for the nearness of God’s presence, then proceeds to demonstrate His nearness in the most undesirable circumstances. 

DeMuth lays herself bare on the pages of this 215-page memoir. She is honest, humble and through her vulnerability reveals the love and sovereignty of God that she has discovered over the course of her early life. She shares poems and snippets from her childhood journals and reveals underlying pride and self-deceit common to most of us.

As in the fictional stories she weaves, DeMuth’s writing in Thin Places is earthy and real, even edgy, but always permeated with the light of hope in Christ. She claims to be a storyteller but her stories are not fluffy entertainment, they are powerful stories of God’s redemption, love and hope as is her own story told here in Thin Places: A Memoir.

Describing Thin Places, DeMuth writes, “The end result is story: mine. It’s the story of a little girl who faced sexual abuse, neglect, drug-using parents, fear, death of a parent, and a host of other malevolence. And yet it’s a hope-filled story, where the bright light of God’s climactic redemption outshines the dark places. It’s a story of God’s nearness when I thought I’d nearly lose my mind and will to live. How grateful I am for the beautiful love of Jesus, how dearly He chose frail me to shame the wise. It’s really His story after all.”

I recommend Thin Places for anyone who has experienced troubling circumstances, or just life in this life. May you and I each discover the thin places where God comes near.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your kind words and beautifully written review!