The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth shares another slice of her life through her poignant retelling of specific seasons when she was hurt by others and how Jesus healed her heart in the process. DeMuth is best known for her heartrending memoir THIN PLACES, in which she told of her sexual abuse at the hands of two teen boys when she was only five years old. This newest work again touches upon her experience as a young child brutally and repeatedly attacked and how, over the years, Jesus has cleared away some of the pain but always continues to heal at deeper and deeper levels.
DeMuth is known for her enthusiastic love for Christ and for people, and her writing brings to life that passionate care she wants to communicate to every individual who finds himself or herself paralyzed by the painful betrayal of another. She shares a number of incidences from her own life when fellow believers injured her on purpose (or through no fault of their own). As she details each event, DeMuth reminds readers that no one is completely innocent in the frays that occur between people. She exposes her own raw first responses to hurtful words and actions to prove this very point. She gently reminds readers that a meek and humble spirit does more to win over a brother who has been estranged than does a forceful, angry, defensive response, but admits to having responded both ways at different junctures in her life.
"DeMuth’s work here is important because every single person has someone (or many someones) in their life with whom they struggle to find peace. She understands how much God values unity, and her insightful words demonstrate how to better achieve it through the grace and wisdom of God."
Readers will appreciate DeMuth’s varied real-life scenarios that help flesh out how difficult it can be to live peaceably with specific “tough” people in our lives. Still, she walks Christ followers through all types of painful betrayals and equips them to overcome evil with good by purposefully mirroring Christ’s responses as depicted throughout Scripture.
Some of the chapter topics that follow the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer, which readers will find especially instructive, are:
- Learning to pray first before acting on impulse
- Knowing our Father loves us unconditionally, allowing God to be God in all situations
- Walking in the moment of the day
- Responding to offense just like Jesus
- Learning to frame your relationships in light of Heaven
- Asking Jesus for help all the time
- Repenting as often as necessary
- Defying bitterness so it doesn’t take hold of your life
- Daring to engage someone through faith
- Being fully alive as Christ desires
DeMuth also includes some valuable final words of admonition and encouragement in her appendix titled “Dealing with Wolves.” Here, she shares how to uncloak the wolves amongst churches who are not God’s leaders but who have infiltrated churches solely for personal gain and to harm Christ’s body of believers.
DeMuth’s work here is important because every single person has someone (or many someones) in their life with whom they struggle to find peace. She understands how much God values unity, and her insightful words demonstrate how to better achieve it through the grace and wisdom of God.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on November 20, 2013