My name is Law Chu Ming. I attended my Walk in 2007. It wasn’t a pleasant experience for me. At the end of the event, my table group members had nothing to share. Even so, I accepted an offer to join the team in Taiwan, to acquire team experience as we prepared to start the Walks in Sarawak, Malaysia.
During my first team experience in 2010 in Taiwan, an Assistant Spiritual Director (ASD) shared her own disappointing Walk experience during a morning meditation. I later had the opportunity to talk with her about my hurt and my longing to have a close relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, and she prayed for me. I also had the chance to talk with a pastor who accompanied me on the trip. My heart was rekindled by these encounters. I came to see this first team experience as my Walk to Emmaus.
While I served on the team, I was often challenged to learn to love God and people. Each Walk brought a different lesson for me to learn. Once, during prayer time after Candlelight, God asked me, “Do you love me?” It was a familiar question, yet I was speechless. I didn’t know how to answer. Did I love God? What was the proof? The answer came to me: to prove that I love God, I will do not what I want to do but what God wants me to do. That was the first lesson. And so, I accepted the responsibility to become the Lay Director (LD) the next year.
The next lesson was to do everything as though you are doing it for your lover. My Spiritual Director (SD) shared a conversation she had with an ASD. The person asked her, “Why do we need to set up the Communion table with these colorful fabrics?” (I later learned that this step is not required in the Emmaus model.) The SD answered, “Imagine how you would set up a candlelight dinner for your lover. We are doing that for our Lord.” This story became my reminder to serve as though I am doing each act for my lover—no matter if it’s during a Walk, or at church, or even at home. The first lesson taught me to serve even when I did not want to, but the second lesson taught me to serve with willingness and love.
A third lesson came from the next year’s Maundy Thursday service. The speaker challenged listeners with a question: “If our Lord didn’t provide salvation for us, would you still love God?” It was a rhetorical question, but it helped me to think more deeply about my motive for serving. Didn’t I expect that God would love me more and give me more because I served God?
Later, when I served on the board, I received more lessons—about letting go of my pride and of the desire for control hidden inside me, about forgiveness and acceptance, and about discovering my perfectionistic expectations for other people and their ways of doing things.
One of the three pillars of the Life in Grace—study—has supported my spiritual growth over the years. I have read books on the history of religions, on psychology and spirituality, on coming to know oneself, on meditation and contemplation. I also have listened to audiobooks on Bible study. Many times, I have been amazed as a book has spoken exactly to the situations and the struggles I was facing. Many times, I have needed to put down a book to ponder what I read and to converse within myself. Many times, I have felt that these books were gently and patiently guiding me through each challenge like a spiritual director.
Over the years, I have been nourished by the wisdom of Julian of Norwich, Saint John of the Cross, and Thomas Merton; the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore and Hermann Hesse; the insights of Karen Armstrong and Abraham Joshua Heschel; and the warmth and compassion of Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr, Thomas Keating, Anthony De Mello and others.
My reading journey started when I first became a team member in the Walk. I bought a book from the pop-up bookstall at the convent where the Walk was held. It wasn’t an easy piece for me to read at the
time. I read every chapter twice to better understand it, but it helped me to discover the spiritual entanglement behind one of my obsessive habits.
This year, in 2022, I have started a pop-up bookstore in my town to pass on the benefits of reading to other people. At a time when many major bookstores are closing down, it may feel like we’re swimming against the current. Still, we hope that it will be a way to reach out to people and local communities.
Law Chu Ming attended the Walk to Emmaus in 2007 and has since served in various roles at Walks in Malaysia.
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