I received “The Dropbox” for review from FamilyChristian.com. All opinions are my own.
One of my favorite ways to unwind after a busy day is by reading a really good book. A book that draws me in and captivates more than my curiosity.
Unlike my day time reading, which tends to be more research oriented, this type of reading is all about feeding my soul.
One of the recent books to fulfill that purpose for me was “The DropBox; How 500 Abandoned Babies, An Act of Compassion, and A Movie Changed My Life Forever” by Brian Ivie. Though I was exhausted when I first picked up the book I had a hard time putting it down.
Through this book Brian Ivie shares his personal journey in making the documentary “The Drop Box”, a journey that is ultimately a journey of faith, obedience to God and rebirth.
We meet Brian as a young USC film student filled with dreams of making award winning movies. Film making has been Brian’s life long passion and he often uses script writing techniques to put the reader in the moment. We become part of his world along with obliging friends and family members. Brian Ivie is an OC kid who, for the most part, has lived a pretty sheltered and cushy life. He’s a pretty typical teenager intrigued by “forbidden pleasures” and compelled to break the rules whenever an opportunity presents himself, yet, along with a seemingly insatiable need for adventure, he craves a deeper connection with God.
Many of Brian’s film references were foreign to me since I grew up in Paris, France and did not see many of the series or films that were his “Bible” but his writing is so vibrant that I could easily picture this restless kid as I read along.
On his first year at USC Brian meets Will, a young man who is unafraid to speak boldly about his faith and live according to his beliefs. Brian who always thought of himself as a Christian, is intrigued. Seeking a closer relationship with God he begins to invest much of his energy in becoming a “real” Christian. His quest is at first somewhat misguided and in some ways superficial. It’s an intellectual decision rather than a heartfelt one. He is almost trying to play a role, or embody a certain persona, become a character in a film. Brian finds himself caught between two seemingly opposing worlds and on a desperate quest for truth.
One fateful morning, as he was casually reading the LA Times, he stumbled upon the photo of a young Korean man holding a small baby inside a small hatch.
“Riveted, I cracked open the paper and my eyes began to dance like mad, flicking up and down and left to right without skipping a word. I read the paper like I used to read On the Road. Lie a starving man. It was a story that I thought shouldn’t exist. That’s what made it so great, a story about a pastor who built a depository for disabled babies.”
Though he did not know it at the time, that story would change his life. In that moment God was knocking!
In Pastor Lee, Brian saw the opportunity he’d been waiting for; to make an award winning film. He knew Pastor Lee’s story had to be shared and he was determined to be the one to bring it to the world at large. After raising the funds to support his documentary project, he embarked on a crazy adventure with a group of inexperienced young kids who had no idea what they were really in for.
Throughout his first trip to Korea, Brian’s eyes were not fully open. He was so concerned about what the film could do for him that he did not see what God was really showing him. But God is a patient God and a persistent one! When Brian returned home and settled to edit his film he saw it for what it was: a story without a soul, without a real purpose, except perhaps an exploitative one. He realized that he had gone to Korea for all the wrong reasons. In that moment he knew he had to go back. He knew he needed to change his perspective and look at Pastor Lee, his wife and the disabled babies they cared for through the eyes of our creator.
Where he had previously seen nothing but hardship and grief, he discover the deepest and most beautiful joy! A joy wrapped so tightly in love it permeated everything. A love so profound it brought beauty to what would otherwise have been the darkest place. Where he had seen a man heavily burdened by the care of hopeless children, painfully making his way through each and every day, he saw a man joyfully giving of himself, with a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye as he gave thanks to God for the privilege of caring for these precious souls.
God was knocking and Brian was ready!
“If I’m honest, I have to admit that when I went to met this man in South Korea, I thought I was there to save a bunch of helpless kids. But the funny thing about God is He is always the savior. Because when it comes down to it, we’re all the ones that need to be saved.”
Brian journey of faith had led him exactly where he needed to be.
If you have not read ‘The DropBox” I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy today and set some time aside to savor this beautiful book. And if you feel so inclined, make time to watch the documentary that changed Brian’s life forever and may very well change yours as well.
Every life is precious and if we can see those around us through the eyes of God, then and only then, will we see their real beauty!