Whoever thought they would see this?

Ian and Martin

Ok, I’m a good week late in blogging about this, but I guess I’ve just been overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. The above picture was on the cover of Wednesday’s Guardian, and it is something I really, really never expected to see. Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, sharing a podium, looking like they’re the best of friends.

I guess I’ve been expecting another picture, one with the crossed fingers behind their backs. Or waiting for it all to fall apart; for one or the other to storm out of Stormont. It hasn’t happened.

Thank God.

I’m not sure what else to say. After years of bloodshed, after so much hate and vitriol, broken bottles and broken promises, it looks like we may have peace. I can’t quite express the relief, the amazement, the sheer gratefulness to God I feel for this. I deeply hope and pray that it will last, and that the cloud of hate that has covered that part of our little Kingdom will gradually begin to lift.

It has been a week of momentous news events, not least the (again announced, but not yet realised) departure of the man at No 10, and the arrival of the Nationalists in Scotland, but this one is by far the greatest. To quote Paul: “…Praise be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!”

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