As I said yesterday, there was one factor in Mike Duran's The Resurrection that kind of bothered me throughout the story, and it had to do with the way people doubted whether or not the titular miracle was real. But before I delve into that too deeply . . .
Just to be on the safe side. I'll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but better safe than sorry, y'know?
Okay, so let's review. Faithful Ruby Case goes to the funeral of a young man named Armando Amaya, held at Goldman's Mortuary. It's conducted by a Roman Catholic priest (I'm assuming) and afterward, Ruby goes up to the coffin to pay her respects. She briefly touches the body, praying for Mondo and his family, and after she turns away Mondo comes back to life.
When Pastor Clark finds out about this seeming miracle, the first thing he does is go to the cops to find out if they've learned anything. And they haven't. Nobody seems to know what to make of this event, if it's real or a hoax or what.
The whole time, though, I kept grinding my teeth because, from where I was sitting, there was a question that someone should have asked, one that could have easily settled the whole real vs. fake debate right away. But before I ask it, let me explain my background and why I thought of this.
As my bio says, I'm a Lutheran minister serving in Minnesota. This past June, I hit my 10th ordination anniversary. In those 10 years, I've done more than my fair share of funerals. I think I did somewhere around three dozen or so while I was at my first parish (I don't keep track of the actual number; that'd be kind of morbid). As a result of my track record, I got to know one of the funeral directors pretty well and every now and then, I'd talk shop with him and he shared some techniques for preparing a body for burial.
So one night while reading this book, I asked myself what I would do if I were in Pastor Clark's shoes. And I realized, I wouldn't go to the cops first. No, I'd go to the funeral director and ask one question:
Was the body embalmed?
That's the key right there, and it's a question that's never answered in this book and, I think, should have been. To doublecheck my hunch, I actually spoke with two other funeral directors on the way back from a committal this past week. I told them about the book, explaining about the titular resurrection, and asked what they thought.
They were pretty skeptical, because they explained that in Minnesota, a body has to be embalmed if it's going to be an open casket funeral. It's actually state law. One of them put it this way: "By the time people get to us, they're dead. And if they aren't, they will be by the time we're done."
And that's what bugged me about this book. I don't know if whatever state Stonetree is in has similar laws, but if Mondo had been embalmed, then this is definitely a miracle, no doubt about it.
Now I realize that would take away some of the mystery around Mondo's resurrection. But the guys I spoke to actually mentioned two possibilities. A body can be refrigerated instead of embalmed. And in Mexico, apparently the tradition is to do no embalming unless the body is going to travel somewhere else for burial. Given Mondo's name, it's possible that he wasn't embalmed for that reason, thus allowing for the doubt to continue.
So why am I bringing this up? Because it's a massive question, one that I think should have been answered. The whole time I was reading, I kept thinking, "Why isn't anyone (other than reporters) talking to the guy who prepared Mondo's body? He'd be able to settle this matter once and for all!"
Just kind of bugged me. That's all.
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