“Hey, we’re going to the night market! They usually have it during the summer”. I had never ever been to a night market.

I was home for the weekend, getting to see my family again, and somehow it was the next thing on the agenda to do this particular evening. So off we went.

The first thing on my mind prior to this trip was to ask God for some sort of fresh understanding or perspective on Vancouver, because I realized that my future had something to do with this city. So here I was reflecting as we all travelled to the Richmond night market.

The thing about Vancouver is that the immigrant population in this city is very high. The funny thing is that Caucasians are actually a minority here, and other culture groups like Chinese, Japanese, Punjabi, and Filipino make up most of the mosaic of people. The immigrant mentality can be summed up as, “Do anything to make sure you get to be on top.” This ideal is what makes immigrant-populated cities what they are.

Here in Vancouver, driving is treacherous, partly because people hate looking out for anyone but themselves. If you go to a grocery store, the immigrant mentality forces one to disregrad open communication because people are caught up in focusing on themselves. It’s the sad truth, and I was thinking about all of this as we drove there.

We got out the car and we start heading over towards the main area, and I could really think of was, “Wow, most of these people have no understanding about God, and even if they do their life doesn’t seem to illustrate the love of God.” I asked myself these questions as I made my way through the crowds of people I was rubbing shoulders with, as we started shopping:

Do these people know God? If they do, do they love God? If they love God, do they love others?
How shallow a life do I live, that as I walk through a crowd of lost people, my first reaction is not compassion, but selfishness?
How real is God to me? If He is real to me, why does my heart not go out for these people?
What sorts of methods could I employ to reach these people?

The first thing the Holy Spirit reminded me was that truth and love are always intertwined, meaning love always comes in truth and truth always works when in an atmosphere of love. If I truly love God, my heart must seek God’s heart. Consequently God’s heart is for lost people and therefore, my heart must likewise yearn for lost people.

I realized how ignorance and selfishness ruled my heart, and that compassion was a trivialized, spiritualized, and idealized conclusion in my head that I never had the heart to live out. I believe my future is back in Vancouver, but if the best I can do right now is smile and walk by the lost in this city, I am not in the least ready for what God has in store for me.

So here I am, asking myself tough questions. I think sometimes I’m too hard on myself, but the blessing of this approach has been the constant watering and nurturing of the Holy Spirit as I learn to live as a whole man. I believe that my beliefs must match my actions; right now it doesn’t.

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