I Found the Truth
Every time I look back into my life, I realize that God has
mysteriously drawn me to His gracious throne step by step. I believe
the Lord first called me when I was very young - even before I started
school. A kid at this age did not have a concept about time; it seemed
to endlessly flow, leaving behind no mark, no trace. But my "eternity"
seemed to come to a stop when I saw a coffin lying in the middle of
the living room of the house next door. I was told the old man, whom I
knew, just passed away. (Vietnamese has always been accustomed to have
their dead prepared in their house instead of in a funeral home as in
Western countries. I believe home funeral service is still preferred
until now.) I shivered while questioning myself what had happened to
him and what would happen to him next.
Shortly, I learned that being dead was no longer alive, nor seen.
Then, I realized that all men would eventually die, and death would
come to me someday like the old man. The thought was so threatening.
The thought about life and death had haunted and threatened me until I
started school. My preschool was Catholic, taught by nuns, in French
language. I could remember none of the Bible stories nuns recited to
me but two: the creation and the crucifixion. I had been wondering why
someone was called God in the creation story, and then much later,
someone else was called God too and died on the cross. But anyway, the
nun who was my preschool teacher - her name was Francois – as I
recall, asked me to ask my parents to allow me to be baptized. I told
her I would ask my grandmother who seemed to be the spiritual leader
of my family at that time.
I came back to nun Francois and told her my grandmother said “no”
since I would abandon worshiping my ancestors after I was converted to
Catholicism. In school I was doing quite well. Due to busy schedule,
the issue about life, death and God was suppressed until the Lord sent
me His second signal. When I was fourteen, my father passed away
because of cancer. He suffered six months on sick bed, screaming,
yelling while battling the pain. Just one month before he died, he
asked a neighbor of ours who was a Catholic to invite a Catholic
priest to come to his side. I overheard the two men whispered
something behind closed door. After the meeting with the priest, my
father seemed to be quieter. He sounded something like prayers. I was
very curious, and continually asked myself what had happened to him.
On his death bed, my father also insisted me to read some of his
favorite books. After he passed away, I tried to reorganize his
bookshelf with an intention to find the books he wanted me to read.
But I ran into another one whose title was "Siêu H́nh Học"
(Metaphysics in English). I misunderstood the meaning of the title as
some sort of "superior geometry." Reading through the book I realized
that the book was about some mystery in the universe where we live,
about its origin, about a possible creator, about mankind’s destiny. I
kept reading it with a strong desire to find out where I came from,
where I was going to. But to my discouragement, at the end of the
book, the author concluded that human mind could not know God. Upon
the conclusion, I set the book aside.
After the communists took over the whole country (04/30/1975), we were
indoctrinated with dialectic materialism and Darwinism. The subject we
spent most time learning and discussing was evolutionism. I was so
involved in the study since it made a "perfect sense" about human
origin. But after a while, I was disappointed. The explanations about
genes, DNA, RNA, the chemicals in our body, the evolution, so on and
so forth did not satisfy my desire to know who I was and where I came
from and where I was going to.
Quickly, I set aside Darwinism along with dialectic materialism. After
this, I was fully convinced that man could not know God since our
brain power is so limited. Few years later, the thirst and hunger for
knowing my destiny came back. This time I tried religion(s) since
human intelligence had failed me. I studied a book on an introduction
to Buddhism, written by a university professor, who was also a
Catholic priest. (By the way, the book was purely intellectual. It did
not reflect the author’s personal belief.) The book was not lengthy.
Yet, it was difficult since it was full of Buddhist terminology. But
as I was reading through the first chapter I realized that Buddha
never admitted he was God and he did not know God either. He pointed
his finger to the moon and said to his disciple: "My finger points to
the moon, but I am not the moon."
I did not read the book further, knowing that it would not provide an
answer to my question. With this, it looked like it was the end of my
search for my origin and destiny since all attempts had failed me. But
a lady neighbor of mine came to my rescue by introducing me to a
Catholic church (Gịng Chúa Cứu Thế, Saigon, Vietnam) for catechism
training. This class was designed for marrying couples with one person
being a Catholic and the other a non-believer. (I had to overcome the
fear of being sighted by a friend who might see me going to this class
and misperceived that I was getting married!) The class was divided
into two sessions: God the Creator, and God the Savior. The priest who
taught the first session asked the class whether or not it was correct
to say God lived from the negative infinite time to the positive
infinite time. Most people said yes, but to my surprise he said no.
His explanation was that if God was like that He still had yesterday,
today and tomorrow. If He was subject to time, He needed to learn to
know. But God did not learn to know; He just know. The idea came to my
mind like a flash of enlightenment. It was so simple, yet truthful.
In the second session, the priest asked the class whom God came to the
world for. The class said the righteous. He did not give any comment
on that but rather, pointed the class to a bible verse. When I
returned home, I secretly opened my little bible and found the verses
that changed my life forever: Luke 5: 31 Jesus answered them, "It is
not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." Luke 5: 32 [Jesus
said] "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance." Oh Lord Jesus, I am so very happy! Praise You, Lord,
Praise You! I found You, I found myself. My spirit had not been at
rest until I found the Truth. With this Bible verse, the Lord gave me
enough strength to break my family’s tradition of ancestor
Unfortunately, I set myself into a different tradition: Catholicism.
Then, it took me a while to find out that Catholic teachings were not
Biblical. I felt that I needed to come to the Lord freely as a son to
the Father without having to go to any rite at all. After few years of
experiencing much pain, for the second time, I was able to break
tradition again - Catholicism - to come to the Lord as a free man. I
was re-baptized in a Christian Church. This time I experienced how I
had died with Christ and would rise again with Him someday.
Huy Anh Le