post_50fed2c0518a05.08625298Author Joss Whedon once quoted, “Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down-dirty way.”

I thought of Mr. Whedon’s quote as I watched Ray Lewis’ Super Bowl press conference. As Bernie Miklasz, Post-DIspatch Sports Columnist phrased, “Ray Lewis is the best of football and the worst of football.”

“He was involved in a double murder and I’m not so sure he gave us all the answers we were looking for,” Esiason said. “He knows what went on there. He can obviously just come out and say it. He doesn’t want to say it. He paid off the families – I get all that, that’s fine. But that doesn’t take away from who he is as a football player. I appreciate you going down there and asking him that direct question. I’m not so sure I buy the answer.”

If one believes Ray Lewis is the God fearing man, who’s dutifully trying to amend for the past, then Mr. Lewis is a beautiful example of grace.

The one thing I said that, because my name was used the wrong way, money is the last thing I’m worried about, but if money will help those kids out – and not just those kids but any kid I can help, any family I can support, I’ll support,” Lewis said to Sharpe. “So don’t just take that family and say I gave money to that family, because I’ve given money to thousands of families time and time again, just to find a different way to help somebody through a rough time.

For those who feel Mr. Lewis bought his way out of a conviction all those years ago, Lewis is your man.

Still, if one really reviews the dust of our own cupboard, aren’t we all a little like Mr. Lewis? Doesn’t each of us have some inner demon, some destitute part of the soul that suffers from a lack of redemption?

In truth I have been seeking to alleviate my own desperate physical and spiritual poverty.  When I look back there were certain choices that, that chosen differently, could have eased a hell of a lot of pain. There’s a difference between a great leader and a great man. I know only too well. I am neither a great man nor great leader.

Still, with Lewis’ constant reference to God, one would think Christ appeared to him, just as He di to Paul in Damascus. Still, trust me on one fact, murder does change a man. My hate and anger of so many years ago, replays in my mind. It’s the horror movie that never ends. No amount of works equals redemption. No amount of money will completely ease the pain, the loss, the soul wretched heart-ache. Nothing. Nothing will.

Still, being “religious” isn’t essential to being a kind, considerate person, of course. But Ray Lewis emphasizes his Christian value. As Christians, we have been created for great things. Theoretically, as a Christian, Christ should shine through so that all can see Him. Thus far to me, all Mr. Lewis has shown is that he’s a great football player.  That certainly is not the definition of a great man.

None us need to be more important than we think we are.