Redemption for Ray Lewis.
On January 31st, 2000, two men lost their lives. The blood of one of the men hung out in Ray Lewis's limo. Someone inside that limo where the blood of a dead man mingled said, "we kicked they ass!"
Ray Lewis, a born leader, tells everyone in his car "to keep their mouths shut," as another man staggers across the street holding his side before falling to his death in the middle of the street. Two lives were lost that night, and the white suit Ray Lewis wore to the club was never seen again.
Answers are still needed for questions still being asked. Somewhere in between that cold January day in 2000 and today, Ray Lewis has found God. He's transformed himself from someone accused of murder, to someone who does the work of the Lord on and off the football field.
Many people are saying that last night, Ray Lewis got to play his "Redemption Song." He led his team to victory. He's the last one from the 1996 NFL draft class in the league, his teammates tell him this is his team. He willed them to this game.
But I remember it like it was yesterday.
The Super Bowl was in Atlanta. I woke up one morning and Ray Lewis was on the news. Murder! Number 52 was wanted for murder. Two men stabbed. Mothers lost sons, sisters lost brothers, a daughter lost her daddy. Lives gone!
This wasn't a game. This isn't Madden, he couldn't press the speed burst button to haul ass out of the trouble he found himself in. Answers are still needed.
I don't think God watches football. I think God has bigger things to ponder over then the X's and O's of the grid iron. I'm not quite sure that this is redemption for Ray Lewis.
I respect the man. I am going to blow up the picture in this post and hang it in my living room. He was triumphant in changing his image. Successful at being a man of God and a proven champion.
“What would you like to say to the families?” Shannon Sharpe asked him.
Lewis said if “the system” really investigated the case “maybe they would have gotten to the bottom of it.” Then, as he often does, Lewis brought God into the equation.
“If you really knew how God works, he don’t use people who commit anything like that (murder) for his glory,” Lewis said.
While I agree with him that the authorities should have properly investigated the double murders, I don't appreciate feeling like I'm not as spiritual as him because I don't understand how God truly works.
Whether or not God would allow someone who murdered someone else the blessing of winning a game is besides the point.
Cindy Lollar-Owens, aunt of one of the men killed in 2000, said if she could speak with Ray, she would ask him for money to open a hair salon in her nephew's name.
"That would be my kind of closure, because I would have his memory," she says.
She also wants the truth. "I would like for him to tell one day exactly what happened," Lollar-Owens says.
While I feel like she can get closure from other things than the man's money, I do believe she holds the key to redemption. Because while Ray Lewis has won two championships, found God and cleaned up his image, redemption only comes one way: When he finally tells people exactly what happened on January 31st, 2000.
Until then, those unanswered questions will always come, quaint and curious volume of a forgotten lure....Tapping in the background like some ravens gently rapping at his chamber door.
Xilla is the Sr. Entertainment Editor for GlobalGrind.com as well as CEO of the number 1 relationship blog BlogXilla.com/M2TB.com. He has been featured in XXL, The Source, Essence, LA Times and is considered one of the premiere bloggers in the industry. Follow him on twitter @BlogXilla