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Ray Lewis: A life restored
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Tanya M. Wilson is an inspirational speaker and writer living in Charlotte. Her column, "360 You," is published here each Saturday. Visit her website at www.360you.net.

On Sunday I joined millions of viewers in watching the Super Bowl. As a New Orleans Saints fan, I didn’t really have a dog in the hunt, but I couldn’t help rooting for the Baltimore Ravens.

There had been a good bit of controversy prior to the game, especially after ESPN announced that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis would join the network as a commentator next season.

I heard various opinions. Some were in full support of the move, while others pointed to that fateful night in January 2000, when Lewis got into a fight after a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta. Two men were stabbed to death. (Murder charges against Lewis were dropped in exchange for his testimony against two other men, who were eventually acquitted.)

I have been a sideline observer of Ray Lewis and his career, and I am happy to see the man he has evolved to become. The truth is, I wasn’t there 13 years ago, and neither were those on the airways who discuss whether or not Lewis deserves all that has come his way since then.

Lewis says he has come to Christ. Still, there are those who stand in judgment of his four marriages and the six children he fathered across those relationships, not to mention the dismissed murder charge.

It’s interesting how athletes who come to Christ through tough circumstances are given less credit than is given to those like Tim Tebow, whose non-controversial life is easily celebrated.

I am reminded of Joel 2:25-26: “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.”

After reading some of the anti-Lewis comments on sports blogs and beyond, I can’t help but wonder: What would we learn if the lives of the talking heads were put on blast for the entire world to see?

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October 9, 2015
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