Thoughts on Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

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.

At her grandmother’s burial in an Ohio graveyard.

On Father’s day–and in every lost father-moment.

In the scent of marijuana–reminder of hiding in her room during her parents’ drug parties.

The memory of being raped repeatedly at the tender age of five–in the healing of that memory, rather.

These are some of Mary DeMuth’s thin places–places where Jesus holds her, changes her forever with His love. She shares her story in her book by that name: Thin Places: a memoir.

It’s not an easy book to read, Thin Places. I’ve heard pieces of Mary’s story before–read Watching the Tree Limbs and Building the Christian Family You Never Had. Both books, one fiction, one not, give the reader a privileged glimpse into Mary’s painful past. But Thin Places brings a voice to the grief of a painful childhood; Thin Places paints an intimate picture of the broken little girl who endured far too much.

It is only through looking back in faith that Mary is able to step onto the path of healing. That part of her story is here too…the hard-fought battle for her life that Jesus refused to give up on.

Surely God is in the nooks and crannies of my life, stooping to earth to woo me. Sometimes I recognize Him, but usually I continue on the mundane path, not realizing a breath of a veil exists between the Almighty and myself…

…I live in the midst of holy moments, yet only in retrospect do I really see them. 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 thing places. God woos me from behind the veil through the tragedies, beauties, surprises, simplicities, and snatches of my life I might overlook.

Mary has learned–is learning–that lesson we all strive for. Through pain and brokenness she has come to the place that the Celtic people celebrate. That place where the seen and the unseen meet. The place where Jesus breaks through the gauzy membrane between our world and the eternal. He bursts through and pursues our very happiness, longs to give us joy. When we live with this knowledge, the thin places become transparent–every moment Christ-soaked.

When Mary speaks of painful memories now, they are held in a different frame.

The memory is a thin place where I have the painful privilege of extending forgiveness again, to walk with Jesus through the memory with grace-filled eyes. Any time I’m wronged (or, in this case, perceive I am wronged), I have a window to see Jesus clearer by the way I react. If I forgive, I get to experience Him. If I growl bitterness, He seems farther away. Forgiving is the deepest kinship I’ve experienced with Jesus so far…

Bravo, Mary. Your story ushers in healing, makes the path straighter. Your life brings Him glory.

You bless.

I’d love to share this beautiful story. Leave a comment on this post by Saturday, February 13, and I’ll mail one lucky person my copy of Thin Places. It’s a little thumbed over, as any good book should be, but it still speaks!

And BTW, did you know Mary is a member of High Calling Blogs? Why don’t you drop by and check us out? It’s where all the smart writers are 🙂 We’re starting a really awesome book club tomorrow…

To find out about how you can enter the Thin Places Win A Kindle contest visit Mary’s blogtour site here.

Visit other bloggers participating in the Thin Places blogtour.


  1. says

    I just discovered Mary DeMuth via her Wanna Be Published blog — she is awesome! I absolutely have to read this book — thanks for the insightful review!

  2. says

    Laura, you do such a good job with book reviews – make me want to run right out and buy them. This is no exception. It sounds wonderful.

  3. says

    I have never read Mary E. DeMuth’s books before. I could relate to a lot of what she has written. Thank God for Mary’s memoir.
    You did an excellent job on your review.

  4. says

    Hey Laura! Thanks for linking to me today. I loved your review–so thoughtful and beautifully crafted. I wondered about giving away my copy since it’s dog-eared and marked up too, but you’ve inspired me.

    P.S. Don’t put me in your giveaway since I already have one.

  5. says


    I was taken in by Mary’s giving personality that comes through her writing in the places I have “seen” her , The Master’s Artist, her website, etc.
    But I haven’t read her books.

    No doubt this book would bless, and that she would write it in a dignified and redemptive way.
    That gives the hope she lives , to others.

    I imagine it will be a difficult read, and yet I imagine it will be a beautiful story of an a woman who lives grace.

  6. says

    Very nice review. Well done. I saw that you had been to my blog earlier, no doubt to see my review, which wasn’t done then, but is now. So if you want to come back, by all means do. I enjoyed looking around your blog. God bless.

  7. says

    Honestly, I’m not sure I want to win this (hits a little too close to home), but I have a friend in mind who is just now confronting her past.

    Blessings to Mary & Laura both!

  8. says

    I saw the book trailer on her blog and immediately wanted to read it. You’ve written a beautiful review here. I’m happy she got a chance to read it here herself.

    I haven’t been reading here long and just noticed your published book on the sidebar. I am a product of a divorce too. It always amazes me how so many people think a divorce is no big deal…so commonplace..and that children are “resilient”. Usually there is so much bitterness between the parents that the damage just keeps getting worse and worse for the children, sometimes even into adulthood.

    Sometimes divorces are unavoidable (abuse) but more often they just trade one problem for a bigger one. I don’t know the content of your book–perhaps it’s farther reaching. Just wanted to share my thoughts on this. I would love to read your book.

    I really enjoyed your post about the housework. Sweet hubby you’ve got there!

  9. says

    The funniest thing is that when I was a child, I would lie in the dark of my bedroom completely still, so sure that were I to reach out, I would touch eternity, and possibly the face of God. Reading this post gave me chills and brought the tears to my eyes. Thank you so much, Laura. I will add this book to my list of books I need to read. God be with you and grant you a blessed week.

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