Recognizing the “Thin Places” in Our Lives
by Audra Jennings Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Is there sustaining comfort to be found for the suffering, perhaps flailing, faithful? Dr. Margaret Wills, Ed.D, asserts that there is, and in her book, Pressing into Thin Places: Encouraging the Heart toward God (Brown Christian Press), she invites questioning, thinking, and hurting readers to recognize glimpses of wonder and to draw strength and find rest in the presence of a loving God.
Dr. Wills knows from her own experiences that life is not simple and that we all need encouraging words and reasons to hang on to hope. She offers these in abundance in this deeply personal, beautiful, and thoughtful work that summons authenticity and contemplation while soothing the dark night of the soul with kindness and truth. With transparency and refreshing gentleness, Wills tackles universal fears, disappointments, wounded relationships, and even death and beckons readers to pull aside the veil and to see into that “thin space,” as the Celtics called it, where all that separates heaven and earth becomes almost transparent. She invites readers to wrestle and be comforted by assurances of God’s love and goodness even in the darkness.
Pressing into Thin Places is a collection of stories from the author’s personal experiences, punctuated by her poetry and infused with biblical verses and rich truths. Wills answers questions like, “How do we keep from falling into despair when pain and suffering weigh heavily upon us?” and answers honestly questions about doubt, mystery, and the experience of not knowing. Wills offers insight for bringing biblical truth to life, wisdom to cultivate a listening heart, encouragement for the downhearted, reassuring words for the faltering, and comfort and rest for those in any stage of their faith journey.
“When Jesus delivered His Sermon on the Mount, He spoke specifically to the poor in spirit, the slope-shouldered individuals who had lost the hope that they would change or that anything about them would ever be any different,” says Dr. Wills. “He blessed those who had reached into their spiritual pockets and found them empty. He blessed those who were desperate, needy, and at the end of their rope. He offered hope. Through the book I want to offer hope with the sharing of a few ‘thin place moments.’ I encourage readers to have eyes to see that God gives us reminders that, though we are tethered to this earth, there is another realm of reality and to feel unified and connected with God through that knowing.”
A writer and a poet, Dr. Wills is dedicated to the ministry of encouragement and helping people experience hope, wisdom, and faith in their spiritual journey. She has written for a number of publications including The Journal of the Fort Smith Historical Society. She previously served on the board of the Arkansas Community Foundation. Dr. Wills makes her home in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Pressing into Thin Places will go to the John Brown University Center for Relationship Enrichment.
Pressing into Thin Places: Encouraging the Heart toward God
by Dr. Margaret Harrell Wills, Ed.D
Brown Christian Press – May 2011
ISBN 978-1-934812-99-0/208 pages/softcover
Audra Jennings is Senior Media Specialist at The B & B Media Group. Since 1987, The B & B Media Group, Inc. has used its broadcasting, marketing and advertising experience to provide the specialized and strategic publicity necessary to achieve the public relations goals of each client. The Barnabas Agency, a division of The B & B Media Group, Inc., is a proven provider of exceptional public relations and personal management services for authors, speakers, ministries and organizations.
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