I have started getting The Bulletin mag, I like the idea of getting one mag with colour pictures once a week instead of buying a newspaper every day. Plus…without wanting to sound intellectually snobbish, I think the West is about as useful as a roll of soggy toilet paper.
Good old puppy dog eyes Jana Wendt does a coloumn in the Bulletin. This week she did an interview with Lex Lasry the QC for Nguyen Tuong, the guy who was hung in Singapore for drugs recently. The guy came to faith in Christ through a nun, shortly before his death. The story is worth a read.
Here is a taste –
Isolated from the desperate activity to save his life, Nguyen, on death row, was grasping for another one. Catholicism provided it. And it is when his lawyer talks about this transformation in his client that you begin to hear something beyond the professional in Lasry’s voice. He is testifying to what he witnessed, in a way not so far removed from biblical accounts of miracles.
“I’ll never forget it. All I know is what I saw and what he told us. He was inspired by one of the nuns who visited him … and she was certainly a woman with an extraordinary spiritual presence … he heard her singing the ‘Ave Maria’. … That was I think the moment at which he thought the light went on, something happened … I’ve never seen anything like it before. I’ve never seen a transition like it before,” Lasry says with passion. “He made this determination that once he had made his religious commitment, he was going to live the best life that he could live, for what he had left. That was quite remarkable … the way he suddenly changed from someone frightened of his situation, to someone who wanted to make sure that everyone affected by what had happened, was as well off as they could be under the circumstances.” And, as if stepping back from a Rembrandt, to appreciate its greatness, he says: “Amazing. Quite amazing.”
To Lasry, it seemed there could only be one explanation. “At the end, he was so ready to die and so lacking in fear … you couldn’t carry that off if you didn’t really believe it, and you could only really believe it if you thought that this meant the start of something, not the end …”
I wonder whether the lawyer, from his “pretty secular background”, ever desired what the young man possessed: spiritual certainty. His reply comes quickly. “I’ve always been envious of people who have a deep faith, yes. To have an absolute belief … must be a great thing …”