I am reading a wonderful book by Robert Lewis of Fellowship Bible Church, Little Rock entitled “The Church of Irresistable Influence.” The book describes what we might today call compassion ministries. He sees his church as having irresistible influence because they build bridges to the world.
One of his chapters begins with his telling the story of building the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, an amazing feat in 1932. Newspapers called it a “Dance of Danger.” It really was. Those who built it worked hundreds of feet in the air, blown constantly by strong winds. The workers worked on cat walks and towers. The newspapers and others even came up with a projected casualty rate–one life lost for every $1 million spent.
Engineers felt otherwise. They set up numerous safety measures to preserve life, many of which are standard procedure today. They required safety glasses, hardhats, tie-off lines, and a strict no show-boating rule (which would bring automatic firing).
The result was a $20 million price tag and only one worker lost.
The most effective safety device cost $130,000–a trapeze safety net like that used in the circus. The net stretched sixty feet below the roadbed under construction and extended ten feet on either side.
Newspapers started keeping box scores of the number of lives saved by the net. The other, very tangible benefit, of the net involved freeing the workers from an often paralyzing sense of fear. This led to much greater worker productivity.
Jesus came to free us from fear. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). It’s not hard to see Him as our safety net, calling us to trust Him and to know that He holds us in His hands.