They were so efficient that the project came in at more than $1 million under budget – that’s in Depression era dollars – an outrageous pile of cash for the time. But the greatest savings wasn’t the money. It was the men working on the iron high in the air. Nineteen workers fell into that net during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and every one of them walked away without a scratch.
Having cheated death, these workers proclaimed themselves “The Halfway-To-Hell Club,” saved by that miraculous web of safety. But after all, wasn’t that why the net was installed in the first place? To save lives? To catch those who slipped and fell? To reclaim those who would have otherwise stumbled and bumbled their way to disaster?
I doubt that anyone in San Francisco at the time was concerned that Strauss’ net was “distorting” the integrity of the construction process. I am certain that the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers of America did not file a grievance against the Bridge Authority for promoting safer working conditions. And you can bet that the wives, children, and parents of “The Halfway-To-Hell Club” didn’t protest. They were just happy to have their loved ones come home at the end of the day.
So, is this grace? When we slip and fall will we actually be rescued by a soft landing in the catching, loving hands of God? Is God’s grace really a safety net? Yes, that seems to be the exact answer from the Scriptures and human experience. No fall is too far and no loss of grip is too foolish or irresponsible because God’s grace never loses its bounce, and “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.”