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 …”
2 thoughts on “Lex Lasry, QC – The Bulletin”
I was on a retreat for Christian Nonviolence trainers with a Singaporean nun whose sisters were involved in the conversation of Nguyen Tuong. Seeing the lives of these sisters it is easier to understand how God could work such a miracle. She shared about how going back to run Nonviolence training in Singapore and advocate on behalf of the poor could be seen as a threat to the government and that she was risking imprisonment. She shared stories of being bullied by the authorities because of their work with the drug addicted. Sister Mary led us in a prayer vigil during his execution. It was very, very moving.
The lives of sister Mary and her ‘religious community’ put the hassle our little ‘religious communities’ into perspective a bit. Sure we might get a hard time for being ‘a cult’ because we’re being church in ways that are different from the mainstream. And yes we are blessed when we are insulted, persecuted and people say crazy untrue stuff about us because of Christ. (Matt5:11) But lets not forget that in some parts of the world to care for Christ in the poor or to care for God’s creation in the way we live, still means imprisonment and death.
Thank God for the little communities everywhere that dare to care in a way that attracts a hard time. Without them in Singapore Nguyen Tuong would have not died with such hope.
My mother-in-law just bought me a years subscription of the bulletin!!!