“The Lawyer’s Relic, penned by Julian Bauer, is an entertaining and educational novella about an agnostic lawyer, Mr. Antonio Mendoza and his bizarre experiences with a relic. The story begins with the mysterious appearance of a Christmas gift at Mr. Mendoza’s office….At first, he thought someone had sent him evidence from a criminal case. However, when he saw people experienced life transformations after coming in contact with [the relic], he started to wonder about its origin….What series of events will bring Mr. Mendoza to his knees with a humble heart toward God?…Mr. Bauer cleverly and convincingly uses character’s conversations to make his points without resorting to the ‘preaching tone’ that non believers can find off-putting….It was refreshing to read the courtship scenes between the agnostic lawyer and his deeply devout Catholic fiancé, Pam. They are miles apart in personalities and world views, but those differences make their love unique and stronger as they join forces and resources to solve the mystery at hand. The Lawyer’s Relic is a short, easy-to-read novella that might cause a revitalization of your faith.” Tannia Ortiz-Lopes at Amazon.com on July 17, 2014
Antonio Mendoza finds a bloody napkin wrapped as a Christmas gift in his law office. In the gift box is a card describing the napkin as the burial face cloth of Jesus Christ. As an agnostic, Mendoza immediately assumes one of his friends is pulling his leg. When seemingly miraculous events occur, Mendoza uses his legal talents to put to rest the insinuation of extraordinary intervention–or can he? He and his devout, red-headed girlfriend, Pam, investigate the meaning of religious relics and how millions of people around the world use them to communicate with God. An enlightening story of faith and integrity revolving around the benefits of trust and virtue.
I approached the frosted-glass door of my office feeling good, as usual. The name on the door stood out in italic script: “Antonio Mendoza, Attorney at Law.” Six years out of law school and I couldn’t help feeling pride at seeing my name on the door. What a life.
“Hi, Tony. You have a Christmas package on your desk,” Carmen said as I opened the door. A short, plump woman with three children, Carmen had been my legal secretary from the beginning.
“Thanks. Who’s it from?” I asked.
“Don’t know. There’s no name on the outside.”
Surprised, I went into the inner office and picked up the gift. Westlaw books and annotated codes for several states filled the bookcases along the wall. I had bought them secondhand, more for show than for use. Instead, I used the computer on my cherry desk to access the Westlaw search program.
Ordinarily, I preferred to review hard-copy files at the coffee table between the black faux-leather sofa and the matching pair of easy chairs. Clients also felt more comfortable there, sitting as they would at home. I’ve sat in front of an imposing desk with a stuffy lawyer behind it—no fun at all.
“It has to be a handkerchief,” I thought. “Nothing else could be so small and light.”
I carefully tore the Christmas wrapping paper, revealing a simple cardboard box. Again, no names were on the box. Inside the box was a neatly folded linen napkin—with bloodstains.
“Must be evidence,” I thought. Yet if this was evidence in some case, I wasn’t expecting it. And why the Christmas wrapping?
An index card was inside the box; typewritten on it was “Jn 20:7.”
I may be an agnostic, but I could recognize a biblical notation. You’d be surprised how often a lawyer refers to the Bible for a case.
I grabbed my copy off the shelf and turned to John 20:7: “And the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.”
What did it mean? Reading the earlier verses, I saw that Peter, entering the tomb, had noticed linen cloths from Jesus’ burial lying inside the tomb and then a napkin lying separately. “Some nutcase is sending me a riddle,” I thought.
“Your first appointment is here,” Carmen said, not bothering to knock. “Mrs. Dodson,” she added, pointing to the case folders sitting on my desk.
I grabbed the appropriate folder and glanced inside. The jealous teenage boyfriend of Mrs. Dodson’s daughter, Charlotte, had thrown a cup of cleaning fluid in Charlotte’s face. After six months, she could see only the forms of objects; she was legally blind.
Carmen took the steno chair near the desk, while I directed Mrs. Dodson and her daughter to the sofa. While the criminal case proceeded along another track, we were in the process of suing the boyfriend’s father, a wealthy industrialist known for his philanthropy. It was an open-and-shut case with multiple witnesses. Our court date had been set for the following week, and I looked forward to a healthy slice of the pie.
All the witnesses had been subpoenaed, and Judge Wilson was fair and impartial. “Mrs. Dodson, we’ve been approached by the opposing counsel and offered a settlement,” I said to her.
“I’m not interested,” she said. “I want everyone to hear what that jerk has done.”
“Well, I’m obligated to mention the amount and to suggest the fact that court decisions don’t always conclude with a just result.”
“Don’t we have a strong case?”
“We do.” I went on to mention the amount of the settlement offer, which was about half of what I expected the court to award.
“Do you know that idiot laughed after throwing the fluid in Charlotte’s face? I want him sweating in front of a jury for the entire world to see.”
She wasn’t interested in the money; I was. We went on for twenty minutes discussing the alternatives and the slight possibility of complete vindication.
“Mommy, I can see,” Charlotte said.
“I know, dear,” Mrs. Dodson said, patting her daughter’s hand.
“No, Mommy, I can really see.”
I noticed that she had been handling the napkin with the bloodstains, but I chose not to say anything after all she had been through.
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