By Ta-ning Connai
June 16 was Tupac Shakur’s birthday. And if he was still alive today, he would have been 47 years old. Often hailed as the greatest rapper of all time, he was Passion Manifested! Whether spitting prose like a modern Gil Scott-Heron, making gangsterish threats to a dope beat or dropping knowledge like the late Malcolm X…when he spoke, the brother made time stand still. And even while performing on the silver screen, he made the fictitious seem soooooo real. Like when Bishop killed poor Raheem and then went after Q in Juice…chiiiiile, I was so scurred, I wanted to jump off that ledge myself! The rapper turned actor deserved an Oscar for that piece and there was more great work to come.
Sadly, the thug life Tupac portrayed so well didn’t end when the director said, “Cut!” The same passion that fueled his gifts fueled his anger too, ‘til one day he reached the point of no return.
It’s been almost 22 years since Tupac’s premature demise. Some say he had it coming and I would never admit it’s true. He was as equally hated as he was beloved; both sides riddled with provocation. Yeah, Tupac had a big mouth, but he had a big heart too. Yeah, he was known to start mad mess, but he started trends and movements and revolutions too. Maybe he would have one day grown out of his wilin’ out stage. Maybe being an advocate for social justice would’ve become a regular thing. But all hope is now gone, his killer is still unknown and justice has yet to be served.
Tupac is not the first unsolved mystery and he definitely won’t be the last. Murders dominate newsfeeds and airwaves, many of which go unpunished or the punishment just doesn’t seem like it’s ever enough. And it’s always the innocent falling victim to such senseless crimes. It’s the kinda thing that tempts my Christian tenets of mercy to go swirling down the drain. One minute I’m talking about Jesus and His forgiveness and suddenly the news has me hoping the devil takes all these killers right on out. Makes you wonder if God is even watching…BUT HE IS. And that’s precisely the reason why the Lord says, “Vengeance is Mine.”
The story of Cain and Abel is a perfect example of someone trying to get away with murder (Genesis 4). It would be bad enough trying to hide from God in this day and age, but at least there are MILLIONS of people to bob and weave through. But back then, Cain was sticking out like a sore thumb. And yet he STILL tried to act like he ain’t got a clue where Abel was, knowing full well he just left his poor brother dying in his own blood.
When God said to Cain, “What have you done?” that was just a rhetorical question; He knew EXACTLY what went down. And as a punishment, God cursed Cain from the earth and declared that he would never live another day without striving to survive. It would’ve been more merciful for God to just strike him dead, but God preferred to make him live with what he’d done. And to make matters worse, God marked Cain with a sign that identified him as a murderer everywhere he went.
“You can run but you can’t hide.”
I have a funny feeling God coined that phrase. Verse 16 says that Cain left the presence of God, and that right there is the worse existence EVER.
God is the Ultimate Judge. He’s seated in a Higher Court and wears both a robe AND a crown. He’s appointed to a timeless place called Eternity and He rules over Heaven and Hell. He is a defender of the innocent and vindicates all who have been done wrong. No crime will EVER go unpunished and no hurt will EVER go unhealed. We may not get to witness every arraignment, but every outcome is the right one. And although we’re unable to approach the bench, it can only go one of two ways…The innocent will live in the midst of God’s glory, the guilty will live in utter torment. On earth, we may not always get the end we expected, but one day there WILL be an expected end.
So when real life horror stories take our minds to the ugly places they shouldn’t go, remember the places where it all gets sorted out. Justice will be served and there will be justice for ALL. Sometimes life can be so bad, but God’s judgement is ALWAYS so good!
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” – John 5:28-29
How do you stay sane when you feel people aren’t being held accountable?