When I went to see a screening of The Drop Box movie, I was already familiar with the story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak. I had read an article about the bin he built into the side of his house where people could leave unwanted babies. I was told to bring Kleenex to the screening, but I did not expect to be crying within the first minute of the film.
This story, captured by now 24-year-old director Brian Ivie, who became a believer while making the film, is truly extraordinary from start to finish. As I followed the journey of the frail and aging Pastor Lee accepting 324 babies into the box and caring for over a dozen adopted children with various disabilities — I was awed by the difference one person can make.
I was particularly moved by how God has used Pastor Lee’s own son, Eun-man, who was born with crippling cerebral palsy, to teach him the value of each person. Eun-man, though completely helpless by the world’s standards, profoundly impacted the course of Pastor Lee’s life. Without Eun-man, there likely never would have been a drop box.
When I was in college, I suffered a debilitating case of Lyme disease that nearly forced me to drop out of college. I have never felt more helpless and useless in my life. My friends had to drive me places, carry my books to class and even fix meals. And yet, at my most helpless, I was amazed by how God used me. Many commented on how they were encouraged and challenged by the strength and endurance God gave me during that season.
At that time, I was a living example of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This strength is a paradox. I have always been driven by accomplishment. Though I would never say that those who do more are more valuable to God, I have operated (and labored) under that mentality at times. My two years of illness were some of my most difficult as I let go of the self-sufficiency I clung to so tightly. They were also some of my best as I let God’s unconditional love wash over me.
Perhaps that is why the tears flowed as I watched The Drop Box. I connected with how God’s love appears even bigger when weakness abounds. That was a lesson Pastor Lee learned from Eun-man — and the babies who came through his drop box — a lesson the Teacher has used to accomplish extraordinary things.