I know good men and women who have been warning against a week like this past one, while other equally good men and women have been praying they’d be alive long enough to see it occur.
It has to be an unsettling, head-scratching time for those in the first group, particularly those living in places like South Carolina where the ground beneath their feet must feel as though it has shifted in ways it never had before.
We all are still processing the kind of ugly, racist terrorism many have long been arguing ended in the 1950s and ‘60s – allowing them to divert their attention from problems that have yet to be solved – a kind of terrorism that so far has sparked an outpouring of love and self-reflection, and possible tangible action.
A century and a half after the end of the Civil War, we are seriously considering pulling down the Confederate flag from public property in South Carolina and throughout the South, as well as from stores and online merchants, something most of us never expected to happen.
To end the week, a conservative Supreme Court upheld a signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, crafted and turned into law by liberals, and made a historic statement by extending the right to marriage to gays and lesbians.
This all comes in the context of a nation continuing to grapple with just what it means to have a black family in the White House for the first time while demographics show that within the next few decades, the United States will have a majority-minority population.
While it is a heady time for someone like me, who sees progress – wonderful, glorious progress – in such things, it understandably must be disconcerting for millions of Americans who are terrified – not out of hate but because the changes are so enormous, sweeping and seemingly coming at a rapid fire pace.
With change comes stress and sometimes fear, even if that change points us to a better direction.
That’s why presidential candidates have issued hyperbolic statements about what we witnessed this past week, while millions of Americans are simply trying to quietly process what’s going on.
We should not forget about them during weeks like this while celebrating things we prayed for but didn’t believe we’d be alive to see happen.
Let there be humility in our joy.