Updated: May 6, 2022
[Welcome to the second entry in my ‘Introducing’ series, where we take an in-depth sneak peek at the main characters of Celestial. No need to worry. No plot spoilers here!]
Who is Nechum?
Nechum is a chosen member of Captain Jediah’s strike team. He’s the only ministry angel of the group (which means he’s the only one created wingless), and a key player in Celestial’s plot.
What makes him a key player?
While God assigned Jediah and the rest of his team to go undercover to capture considerably dangerous demons, Nechum is given a secondary mission. One that the others are unaware of. One only he’s supposed to know.
So what is Nechum’s doubly secret mission?
Oh-hoh! You’ll have to read the book to find that one out.
So what’s the significance of his character?
To me, Nechum’s role in the story is meant to point out a very real fact about the daily jobs God places in our lives. Yes, it’s important to do a good job at the office, at home, and at church. However, sometimes we get so caught up complaining or straining to do our best that we fail to recognize the more important work God is trying to shape in you through the task He’s given to you at the same time.
What do you mean by that? What is this secondary work?
It’s the most important work of all. You see, the Biblical God is a God of relationships. No relationship is more important to Him than the one He has with His followers. He wants His Christians to draw closer to Him as well as to each other day-by-day. Yes, it’s good to do good works, but what good is good works if our relationship with Him and others remains stagnant through the whole process? No matter how menial, God uses the tasks He set in your life to grow and mature you. I wanted to showcase this truth through Nechum. For most of Celestial‘s main cast, their minds are set on neutralizing potential demonic harms. They’re doing as God told them. It’s good for the world at large too, but for Nechum, he’s fully aware and senses God using their mission to bring about much needed, healthy spiritual change in each of them too. Thus, it’s not just for the world’s sake they’re assigned to their mission. It’s for their own welfare as well.
Who did you base Nechum off of?
Nechum is the type of character who is very much out of his element. Besides navigating human society, he’s not keen on nor has any skill in fighting nor is he quite certain how to relate to his brethren even with the extra insight he has via his empathic sense. At the same time, he’s a big sweetheart and continually tries to help no matter what. I guess that description kind of falls similarly with other timid yet earnestly loving characters like Samwise Gamgee, Wall-E, and Sadness from Inside Out.
But what will make Nechum different from similar characters?
You know how it’s incredibly common for a quiet character be sorely underestimated and to be the one who gets the main hero back on his feet during the darkest hour? Well, in Nechum’s case, very few characters actually underestimate him. Not even Lucifer underestimates him. Plus, his role in the darkest hour is much more round about than direct. He does start the events that lead to the plot’s pivotal turn around, but despite it happening as a direct result of his actions, he recognizes that sometimes he needs to step back when God has prepared another person to complete what He used him to begin. After all, God is a subverter of expectations - even the expectations we have for our own God-given tasks and purposes.
What was the most surprising thing about writing Nechum?
How much I myself underestimated him. I know that sounds crazy (I am the author after all!), but the longer I worked on Nechum, the larger his role became. Now, I already did have important parts for him to play in Celestial’s initial conception. I guess what ended up happening is I discovered how much his impact could further enhance and the deepen the hidden messages in my plot. So I went through the revisions, and Nechum got promoted from minor emotional support to duetertagonist. Who knew? (Besides, God, of course.)
I certainly hope you all will find Nechum to be a wonderful heartwarming example of true bravery and how to display earnest, Godly compassion in all the right ways.
I hope you liked this article! Please consider liking, sharing, and leaving a comment! Celestial comes out on May 12th next Thursday, so find and preorder it on Amazon, Goodreads, Applebooks, and Barnes & Noble; and please consider subscribing for my free, non-spammy newsletter below! Thank you!