In place of my usual blog, I'm giving the space to Michael Daniele, sharing an article he wrote at work. Besides being my gifted, talented, smart husband (among other things), he is also a key component to helping others learn about lead safety guidelines that are instituted by the EPA. We didn't know how important a message this was until he began researching, learning about the potential dangers to anyone who comes in contact with lead. It's quite astounding. Many of our health problems today are as a direct result of coming into contact with lead during our lifetime. This isn't a theory, it's a fact. The largest segment of the population that is affected: babies and small children. It is for them that the message is so important. Awareness has brought about a significant reduction in the number of reported cases, but even one person being unknowingly exposed is too many. And there is no lead level in the body that is safe. Check out the links at the end of the article for more information.
Jesus and the Lead Law
Over the years I have pastored small, medium and large churches in one capacity or another. When I first cut my teeth on the front of a pulpit in a small church it was with a meager salary and I often got paid in groceries. The notion of meeting my family of five’s needs was something that we had to pray for and trust that the bills would be covered. Thankfully, God always came through even when the cupboards were bare. In order to generate enough income to feed those bottomless pits, I remembered the house and dorm painting lessons I received from the college painting department at Moody and working under Dan Mockler, an independent contractor. He taught me the fine art of prepping surfaces, scraping walls and applying final coats. This was way back in the late seventies and early eighties when I spent a good number of weeks painting first and then preparing sermons on Saturday nights. These were long and sometimes sleepless nights. Either way both jobs were satisfying and both left me with a sense of continuity with Jesus.
Jesus was a contractor. As the most famous carpenter in the world He left a legacy greater than any cabinet He built or any rough construction He may have done. In fact, He was in the renovating business. However, He reconstructed with His hands and His heart. Imagine what it would have been like to own a bench, chair, or to have an addition built by Jesus: The Carpenter. Always in code, no bent nails, perfectly plumb and using material that kept people safe and secure.
Unlike today, when unknowing or unscrupulous contractors might cut corners, drywall over their mistakes, or use hazardous materials to create what is perceived to be a safe and secure environment, when the reality is that those who live in those homes may be in imminent danger. Take lead poisoning for example. This insidious disease has become a nemesis for children, pregnant women and contractors. For children, it contributes to lower IQ’s, failure in school, hyperactivity, higher crime rate, infant mortality, and so many other issues that challenge our children and their parents. For pregnant women, lead poisoning has been named as the culprit behind many premature births and miscarriages. Adults, especially contractors who do not practice lead-safe methods in their renovations, are in danger of high blood pressure, lack of sex drive, fatigue and kidney failure just to name a few.
In spite of research and statistics there are still contractors, building associations and industry watch dogs who think that the effects of lead are sensationalized; that the laws surrounding lead practices are cumbersome and the governing authorities need to retract the methodology to ease the financial burden on the homeowner and the contractor. Now that the EPA and other authorized states levy fines (to the tune of up to $37,500 per violation) against contractors and landlords for not complying, why try lead safe practices? After all, if you think about how much more money it will cost to renovate an older home, it might be easier for homeowners to let their properties fall into disrepair then fix them up.
Antiquity reveals that lead has been around a while and was used for all kinds of things among them drinking vessels. In fact, it is thought that lead was behind the fall of the Roman Empire.
Lead as a substance is mentioned in Numbers 31:22 “Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin and the lead; everything that can endure fire…” (There is some question as to whether this is a reference to lead the metal or another type of metal)
It references the weight of lead in Exodus 15: 10 “…they sank like lead in the mighty waters…” referring to the enemies of the Lord.
It was thought to be used for writing on ancient rocks (a bit like graffiti) in Job 19:24. “Oh that my words were written…that they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever!”
In a prophetic voice an angel speaks to Zechariah in chapter 5 and tells the prophet “here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is a woman sitting inside the basket…this is wickedness…and he thrust her down into the basket and threw the lead cover over its mouth.” Note the link that the angel makes between lead and wickedness. It may have been known even before Jesus day how devastating the effects of lead had on people.
Jesus must have encountered lead poisoning in His renovations. Knowing its harmful effects, what would He do? Let me quote the Master Himself:
“Let the little children come to Me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of God.”
“He that knows what is right to do and does it not to him it is sin.”
He not only knew about the lead problems, but, as a contractor, He put himself at the forefront of protecting the children. If this is true then we can surmise that Jesus practiced lead-safety. What about the government’s intrusive laws? We know from the Scriptures that His character was a perfect example of dealing with issues related to His work and ministry. For instance, He told the disciples to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render to God the things that are God’s” He spoke of paying taxes, even though he was in “ministry” He still abided by the law of the land.
Good contractors don’t cut corners and recognize the need to keep lead safe. By following lead-safety you also follow the example of Jesus.