Discussion points about
The Midnight Saint
by the author, Mitchel Whitington
These are questions and discussions that have come up with The Midnight Saint. It's a book that definitely creates a lot of discussion, and the author is always anxious to entertain the things that readers come up with. By the way, if you have a reading group that reads the book, the author is always willing to Skype in for the discussion - no charge, of course - because he loves interacting with his readers. Just use the contact page for more information. Before you continue, be forewarned - this page may contain spoilers, so please do not read it if you haven't finished the book! That said, here's Mitchel's take on some of the discussion that has come up...
Why would God send Lucia instead of an angel to converse with and minister to Adam?
Adam had a fear of death, so to deal with that he needed to speak to someone who'd been a human, died, and actually been to heaven. An angel wouldn't be able to talk to him from a human perspective, and therefore God chose Lucia. That was also the saint that Jen, the young lady in the car at the gas station in the first scene, called upon for intercession. Perhaps Lucia was the natural choice for God to send.
In reality, a person who has died can't come back from the other side, can they?
Actually, the Bible has a number of instances where humans who have died have come back: Matthew 17 tells the story of the transfiguration, where Moses and Elijah return; 1 Samuel 28 recounts the Witch of Endor incident, where the prophet Samuel comes back at the request of another human; Matthew 27:51-53 says that when Christ died on the cross, the curtain in the temple tore in half, the ground shook, several graves opened up, and the saints who had died arose and walked around town, where they were recognized by many; and in John 11, Jesus calls Lazarus forth from the tomb... he'd been dead for four days, yet Christ called his spirit back from the other side and into his body. Clearly there is ample evidence that, at God's will, spirits can come from heaven and back to earth... as is the case in the story of the Midnight Saint.
Who is the cemetery caretaker?
Good question, and one that I don't have an answer to. He just sort of showed up when I was writing the book, and I don't know specifically who he is. He could be an angel, just checking in on Adam. On the other hand, he could be God himself, coming back to visit his creation, and stopping by to see Adam (remember the movie "Oh God!" with George Burns as the Heavenly Father? I loved that film). On the other hand, perhaps he's just an ordinary groundskeeper, whose purpose is to remind Adam that someone is always listening, even when we think that they're not.
Why does Adam take God's name in vain when calling Lucia after Ben's death?
I understand that some people don't like that, but Adam isn't just mad... he's in a complete rage. And he's in a rage at God. Not because his friend Ben died, but instead because it gave him a preview of how things will go after his own death. He's angry that Emily and Amy will be left behind, he's angry that he won't be there to see his daughter grow up, he's angry because he won't be there to provide for them. And he's angry at God. Humans sometimes say hurtful things to the ones they love. Children scream at their parents, "I DON'T LOVE YOU!!!" Spouses yell at their mates, "YOU'LL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING!!!" When we're angry or hurting, we look for the most hurtful words that we can find, and often aim them at the people we love the most. Adam's anger wouldn't come out in this scene if he called, "Golly dang-it, Lucia!" No, he is in a total rage, and acts out in that regard. Not to worry, though... like a parent being berated by a child, God can handle the worst outburst that we can come up with, and still love us. That's the very definition of unconditional love.