He's a symbol of the town that won't stay down, that's pulling itself up by its bootstraps over and over again with a revitalized waterfront, a biomedical corridor, holding fast to the vision of final victory and prosperity, staying forever resilient.
Jim Kelly endured the death of a little son, Hunter, to Crabbe's disease, yet still had the resilience to found a Foundation, Hunter's Hope, so that babies would be tested for the terrible disease and their lives saved.
Here's the quarterback who took his team to the Super Bowl four times - and lost four times. And he still didn't lose his enthusiasm for the sport.
Now, only in his fifties, Jim Kelly is in the physical battle of his life. And he's not afraid to announce to the world that he asked - and asks - God "Why." Why, after he's endured so much already.
Of course the Divine Coach isn't giving out any answers. But Kelly's attitude is still remarkable for its resilience. He's still out there, giving encouragement and pointers to players and teams. He plans to live life to the fullest as long as he is on this earth. His wife Jill attributes both their positive attitudes to the power of prayer. Talking to God - even asking intense questions - opens their hearts -and ours- to the abundance of God's strengthening Love.
Jim Kelly lives gracefully out of an abundance of God's grace. He's a real man's man, who's not afraid to talk about his reliance on God, and faith in life after death.
Jim Kelly has hope-filled resilience. But I look at my friends and family and see the same resilience. Young parents rising each morning to lovingly care for their children, some with severe disabilities. Singles - through fate, divorce, or death, holding on to hope in the goodness of life and meaningful pursuits. People young and old dealing with cancer and the endless rounds of Doctors' appointments, radiation, and chemo. Men and women trekking off to difficult jobs - for their families. Old people still loving their families around them even though family deaths have saddened their hearts. Some family and friends have a vision that widens their love of family to include the world family.
Jim and Jill Kelly, my family, and my friends, can radiate joy in spite of great challenges, great difficulties, because they know how to give their all in love - for family, for hobbies, for sports, for important causes. God IS Love, and if you're living a life of love, then, whether you know it or not, you're living with and in God. God is the silent Wind beneath your wings.
Be like Jim Kelly. Give God a Shout-Out once in awhile.