This weekend I watched the movie The Drop Box. I have been waiting for months to get my hands on this film, as it wasn’t shown in my local theaters. If you don’t know about it, the premise is simple: A pastor, Pastor Lee, in Seoul loves people. He just loves them. He loves them so much that he has dedicated his life to help them and in doing so has made a “baby box” attached to his church. This isn’t just a box to drop clothing and supplies. It is an insulated drop site where women can leave their babies when they are unable to care for them. Often the women are just girls, in middle and high school. Many times the babies have significant special needs. But Pastor Lee takes them.
He scrambles up in the middle of the night to race to the baby box, hearing the chime noting a left child. He holds them and loves them insures that they are safe. And then, he adopts many of them. Children who society has cast out, he calls in. Babes who have been abandoned, he welcomes home, into his family.
They are aging parents, Pastor Lee and his wife. Health issues are breaking into their day to day, but they work still. They love still. As of the end of the movie, they were taking care of thirteen children, in addition to their own 26 year old son with special needs. When asked why he adopts them all, Pastor Lee’s response is simple: God adopted him, so he adopts these children. He wants them to be safe. He wants them to be loved. He wants them to have a family.
The amount of children left in the drop box of Pastor Lee’s church, and similar boxes around the world is staggering. Here in America we have a system of our own, where a child can be left in a hospital or at a fire department, and then seen to via the CPS system and social workers. There are so many children, left and abandoned at birth and throughout the span of their life, who want the simplest and biggest gift of all: a family.
In James chapter 1 verse 27 he tells us “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” This is a hard pill to swallow in today’s world, it seems. When we’re focused on one-upping each other and keeping up with the Jones’. When the value of human life seems nil to none based on acts of violence and acts of choice. It has become increasingly difficult to stand up for what we believe in the face of outward oppression and risk for injury. But we were never told it would be easy.
I think this is what I respect about Pastor Lee so much. That even in the face of extreme difficulty, he still loves and perseveres. He gives children with the direst of outcomes names like Victory, because he wants his life to be victorious. And Autumn, because he wants her life to be beautiful like the changing leaves. He sees beauty in each life, and grace in each breath. Pastor Lee understands far better than most of us what it means to love out loud because he know that there is more to a family than blood and genetics. He knows that the greatest of these is love.