As I turned the corner, that’s when I saw him. He was a small boy, probably no older then six. I noticed how he lingered. Walking at an incredibly slow speed, he made his way to the cross walk. This boy’s pace was unimaginable.
So little, so tiny, so slow.
He was so cute… then it hit me. Why on earth was a boy at such a young age walking the streets of Akureyri alone?
Without giving it much thought, I followed him. Accompanied by my three YWAM friends, we walked on the other side of the street following this young boy. I wondered if this was normal for most Icelanders. Most of the time I would see young Icelandic children walking home from school without an adult… but for some reason, this young boy caught all of our attention. We had no choice but to follow him, and make sure that he was ok.
After awhile, I’m sure the young boy noticed us following him. We didn’t want to scare him, after all, if I was being followed by four complete strangers, I’d be frightened too. We tried out hardest to steer away from the child, but it was impossible to do so, being this town wasn’t very populated. However, all of us froze as we saw the child make his way towards a house. Very slowly while dragging his book bag, he knocked on the door.
“Oh good, he’s home.” We all thought. We waited and watched as this young boy knocked and knocked repeatedly on the door. His little hands reached up and turned the door knob. No luck. The door wouldn’t open. Making his way down the stairs, he turned the corner and began walking towards a small wooded park.
We wondered if we should turn around, it was getting late and the other YWAMer’s would be excepting us soon. As we started to turn around, my eyes stayed with this young boy. As much as I wanted to leave, I couldn’t. Something inside of me was telling me to stay with this child. Each of us looked at each other, I could tell that we were all thinking the same thing. Instantly, we crossed the street and made our way to the woods.
At this point… we were relentless.
As we approached the woods, my friend Rachelle stopped. I looked at her not sure what she was doing. She mentioned the house that the boy previously knocked on. I thought back, it was strange. If the boy really lived there, then why didn’t anyone let him in. Then I wondered if maybe he knew someone who lived there. It was quite strange. Rachelle decided to go back to the house and see for herself. I was curious as well, so I decided to go with her.
I didn’t go up to the house like she did, but instead, I watched from the side. From where I was, I could see Rachelle and the young boy who still carried on down the path.
Rachelle made her way over to the house. Pushing open the black gate, she climbed up the front steps and knocked on the door. I was too far away to hear what she was saying, but by the residents reactions, I could tell they had no idea who Rachelle was talking about.
“Bless bless,” Rachelle said waving goodbye to the Icelandic residents.
We made our way back down the wooded path, trying to catch up with the young boy and our two other friends. I asked Rachelle if they knew of the boy. To no surprise at all, she told me that they didn’t. In fact, she said no young boys lived in that entire housing complex. This situation was peculiar indeed. Why on earth would that young boy stop at that house if he didn’t know anyone who lived there?
Eventually, we caught up with the others and told them what we found out. As we were speaking, a familiar tune caught our attention. Each of us listened carefully… the words were in Icelandic, but the tune was very familiar. Then we realized… this tune was coming from the young boy. He was singing.
“Frosty á Snowman var Jolly hamingjusamur sál, Með corncob pípu og hnappur nef Og tvö augu úr kolum!” He carried out this tune over and over again, gradually getting louder with each new verse. Each of us looked at each other smiling. The tune he was singing was Frosty the Snowman. I couldn’t help but grin. This moment was just to cute and almost surreal. Here this young boy was lost, yet, he was singing a happy song without any worries at all.
I looked over and saw my friends Andy and Cortnie dancing and skipping to the song. Trying not to laugh, Rachelle and I both joined in. At this point, this young boy stole my heart. I’m not sure where he was headed or who he belonged too, but I would stop at nothing in till I knew he was safe.
The boy must have noticed us again. He picked up his pace and turned another corner. We knew we had to be scaring him, I mean… we were following him. Instead of all four of us following him, we split into two groups. Andy and Rachelle kept going straight, while Cortnie and I kept following him. Perhaps he wouldn’t be as scared if he saw only two of us.
Then finally… he stopped.
Turning into someone’s yard, he laid down in the snow. He picked up a snow ball or two, then laid it back down in the snow.
“What is he doing?” Cortnie and I both thought.
Cortnie walked up to the young boy. He froze and looked absolutely terrified. Now in Iceland, English is their second language however, this boy was no older then six. Most Icelanders don’t start learning English in till they are somewhat older. There was no way this boy would understand us. However, we knew one word in Icelandic… and the word was perfect for this moment.
“Heima?” Cortnie asked with her shoulders shrugged.
The boy just stared at her, completely puzzled.
She asked again, “Heima?”
The boy sat up, and began speaking to us in Icelandic. He talked and talked and every word was complete gibberish to both Courtnie and I.
We both asked again, hoping he’d communicate to us in a way other then speaking.
Courtnie and I both looked at each other, then back at the boy. The boy was completely terrified. At this moment, I started praying. Something was stirring in my spirit… all I wanted, was to see this boy home. I didn’t care about anything else, I just wanted to know that this boy was safe in the arms of his mother or father.
Then up ahead, a car started coming down the street. It stopped right by us. Rolling down the front window, a women poked her head out.
We asked, “Are you the boys mother?”
Instantly, she said yes.
My heart was at ease.
She began thanking us for making sure he was safe. Apparently, this was his first time walking home from school all by himself. She was so worried about him, afraid that he would get lost… which he did. For us to make sure he was safe, meant so much to her.
We waved goodbye and watched as the little boy got in his mother’s car. They both drove away, down the road we just came from. Andy and Rachelle caught up with us also.
We weren’t sure what just happened, myself especially. Here we were, the four of us out exploring the small town of Akureyri, only instead to be sent on a never ending adventure. I thought to myself, there has to be some meaning to this. To me, this wasn’t just some random thing that happened, but something so much more.
The moment I saw that boy, my heart broke for him. I wanted to know where he was going, and to make sure he was safe. In doing so, we relentlessly followed him. Through parks and up the icy streets of Iceland… we followed this boy. Kind of similar to how Jesus pursues us.
The moment He creates us, He wants us. He wants to make sure were safe. In doing so, He follows us where ever we go. We go to house after house and knock on each door, hoping that this will be the place we can call home. When really, our home is with God.
People and places will reject us. Some won’t even acknowledge our presence. They won’t even open the door for us. We desire a place to call home. A place of safety, and a place filled with love. Through out these trials of life, there’s always one person there. He follows us and watches everything we do. He’s always been there and now, he’s waiting for us to acknowledge him. He wants to carry us home.
He. Relentlessly. Pursues. Us.
I didn’t realize this till weeks after this event happened, and now, it’s more clear then ever. The Icelandic word we spoke was heima. In English, heima means home.
Jesus is calling us home!
Jesus is relentlessly pursuing us every day and all the time. He is the home our hearts desire. He is our home… our heima.
Now it’s up to us. Will we let Him carry us home, or will we keep wandering the cold streets alone? Whatever we choose, there’s one thing I know for sure. He will NEVER stop pursuing us. His love is Relentless.