A Hint Of My Future . . .
- By Ashish Joy
- Published 10/28/2006
Ashish Joy is a 22 years old Malayalee Christian. He is a Theology Major at Portland Bible College in Oregon State, USA. Ashish Joy is a musician, a writer and enjoys computers. Above all, he loves God with devoted passion and desires to see Christians rise up to become world-changers and trend-setters in the ministry and in the marketplace.
There are certain times in my life when I get a hint of my future. There are occassions when I get a small glimpse into what the future holds for me. Usually in these times, the wonder of this revelation in itself leaves me speechless and amazed.
It’s in these moments I thank God for believing in me, and constantly reminding me of what He has for me. There are other times when you get a hint of your future, and you’re wondering what God was thinking of when He thought it up.
I went up to Vancouver this past weekend for a youth retreat. Deeper Walk, as it is called, is a wonderful time when kids from a couple churches in the Vancouver area come together. I’m honored to be a part it. This time when I went up, on the Saturday night after the retreat was over, Stephen, Samroon, Mark, and I decided to take a walk around downtown Vancouver, and just have a time with the guys if you will.
The first thing we did was go to a Falafel House, which if those reading don’t know, is a Greek food place. You get everything from Falafels to shawarmas to humus. I won’t be able to get into the details of the different variety of Greek foods I’ve mentioned, but it was definitely a mouth-watering experience. I love Greek food. After Greek food we decided to walk through Robson Street which is probably the coolest place to be if you love to shop. There are hundreds of people walking the streets.
As we we were walking back to the car to head back to Richmond, this older lady, probably strung out on drugs, teeth missing, cuts along her neck, and bruises and decayed flesh along her calves, came up to us. She looked extremely desperate. She kept asking for something to eat and something to drink. Mark decided to buy her a coffee, and the whole time she began telling us her story of how she ended up on the streets of Vancouver. We weren’t sure what to believe from this lady, but all I could see in her eyes was a desperate hope that someone out there could provide for her.
It broke my heart. I would say it broke all of our hearts. Here was this lady walking along Robson Street, and most people on this street could care less about this poor lady. Most of us were here to go shopping not help the destitute along the street. How many other people like this were there, that most of us were giving a cold shoulder to? How many homeless people were walking this very street desperate for hope?
I couldn’t hold back the tears. I couldn’t begin to describe the agony of experience. We were planning to drive around to Stanley Park to see more of Vancouver, but this experience made us craving for more. Mark decided to take us to East Hastings Street. This is probably the worst part of Vancouver. The police actually bring the drugged out and diseased people here. It’s like this huge ghetto where you find prostitutes, druggies, homeless, and other people randomly walking the streets.
You could see the hopelessness in these people. It was infectious. We drove by another part of town, and Mark told us that this was a hub for Internet pornography. That just hurt me even more. I never realized it when I lived there, but there’s this hopelessness that pervades the atmosphere in Vancouver. It’s just this nagging heavy feeling that just keeps you gloomy. Mark said it best: “There’s just a spirit of death here in Vancouver.”
I’m called to this?
Throughout the whole ordeal, I realized a thing or two. I feel like I’m called to eventually come back to Vancouver, and as this night progressed I realized that this chaos, evil, and hopelessness I witnessed would become part of my story. Not because I would be drawn into that lifestyle, but that my job would be to rescue such as these. It hit me because I realized that my life would be given to this cause.
I felt fearful. I felt pained. I was thinking; “God I don’t want to do this! Isn’t the job of a minister anymore glamorous? Why do you want me to get involved with the worst of the worst?” In my heart of hearts I began to see where my future was headed, but in my mind I wished I never ever saw it. I had a date with my destiny and I left with a feeling of anguish. I realized, “I’m not as compassionate as I thought I am”. I realized, “I’m not as loving as I claim to be”.
The thing about God is that He asks you to do something that is harder than anything you could ever do on your own strength. For Abraham this was sacrificing his own son. For Jesus it was dying on the cross. Abraham had to trust God that He would raise Isaac again. Jesus had to trust His Father’s will and follow-through.
I’m not capable of what God has called me to. I can believe I am, but I’m not. The only strength I have is Christ and His grace. I hope that when I get a chance to have another date with my destiny, I’ll have a little more compassion. Until then all I can rely on is the hope and trust I have in Christ Jesus. I’ve laid my future in His hands and I’m willing to follow it…