Monday, July 8, 2013

The Baby Box

Four years ago, a man in South Korea made a box.

It is built into the wall of his church in a ragged, low-class neighborhood. The inside is lined with soft blankets and when the little door is opened, a bell rings. It's a drop box. But not for books or letters. It's a box for babies --- the unwanted ones.

They bring the children to this soft, heated box. In the middle of the night, in the middle of the day, they bring them. Some come with a note, others without a word. Many of them have disabilities --- Crooked bodies, slow minds. Too much trouble to give everything for someone who can't give anything back.

Others are there because people say they really shouldn't have been born. . . Mistakes, momentary lapses of sanity, accidents.

Mothers bring their children here because there's literally nowhere else, in this country that worships physical perfection, that will keep them. They bring them because the other ways were too horrible for them to carry out; because the other ways involve poison, or abandonment, or worse.
"I'm asking you to take my son," one mother wrote. "Please don't try to find me. And I am sorry."
They don't want to be found. They want to come, and then go away again. And forget.

But no matter why they are there, or where they've come from, Pastor Lee Jong-rak picks up every child. And he works to find them a family who loves. Each one is beautiful, and each one cherished, when they are brought into his doors. “They’re not the unnecessary ones in the world," says Pastor Lee. "God sent them to the earth to use them.”

His love, and this tremendous mission, are both painfully personal. Almost thirty years ago Lee and his wife had a baby. This child was so deformed, so crooked and disfigured, that Lee would not let his wife see their baby for over a month, as he groped for reasons, for explanations. Doctors said the child would die before he was a year old.
But today he lies on a bed in his father's home, his feet turned backward and inward, his only sound is an occasional grunt. His parents feed him, clothe him, clean him, love him. His name is Eun-man. It means 'full of God's grace'.

For years Lee has operated this baby box --- this pain-filled, beautiful vision --- undercover. He has no license, no formal training. He only has love. Compassion. For no reason but grace, he accepts, he invites, these unwanted ones to fill his life.

Just like us. We are crooked, messy people; hopeless people; unwanted people. But Christ. He loved us when we were something absolutely unlovable.
 "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us..."

"Bring them here," says Lee. Bring them here.

You only live life one time. And Pastor Lee is making his one time count. "As you did to the least of these, you did it to me." (Matthew 25:40.) His reward will be great in heaven. "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Would we have the strength to say it? - Bring them here. 


1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, thank you for sharing this with the world; I know we need a wake up call!!


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