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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Jim Kelly — A Father’s Heartache and Newfound Joy

By Ron Kopczick
Jan. 30, 2011

When his infant son, Hunter James Kelly, was diagnosed with Krabbe leukodystrophy, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly blamed everybody. Including God.

“I was mad at everyone who came up and told me I was a chosen father,” Kelly said during a Sunday morning service last September at his home church, The Chapel, in Getzville, N.Y. “Where I ran and blamed God, Jill ran to seek God.”

While his wife, Jill, along with members of her family and Hunter’s care team, would be praying for his son, Kelly “would go and do my thing.” That all changed when Hunter passed away on Aug. 5, 2005, at the age of 8.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on,” Kelly recalled. “I knew if I didn’t change my ways, I would never see my son again. I made a lot of mistakes in my life. I needed to ask the Good Lord for forgiveness.”

The 2002 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame eventually made that choice.

“I came to the realization that I wanted to see my son again,” said Kelly, the only NFL quarterback to lead his team to four consecutive Super Bowls. “I want to see Hunter do all the things he couldn’t do here.

“Things will go wrong in everybody’s life — but it’s what you do about them that count. I did something about it. I never gave up; I never quit. The day I gave myself to the Good Lord is a day I look back on and wish I had done that a long time ago.

“I am not where I want to be,” Kelly added. “I am a work in progress.

“Just because I played football doesn’t mean anything, because what I have inside my heart is what it’s all about,” said the 1983 first-round draft pick out of the University of Miami, who concluded with succinct advice he directed toward the men in the congregation. “Don’t run away from Him; run to Him.”


RON KOPCZICK is promotions coordinator for the Pentecostal Evangel.

Read more about the Kelly family in Hunter's Hope.

 

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