This was the best birthday week I have ever had. Full stop. It’s true.
Best Birthday Ever
Not because of presents, birthday dinners, snuggles with my son, Facebook messages, sweet texts or emails. But because my 36th year marks some serious advancement for our people.
On June 26, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. I have sobbed every time I’ve read an article, seen posts on social networks from friends or strangers or watched news clips.
The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after today’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington June 26, 2015 (Reuters / Gary Cameron)
The news brings such joy to my heart. It has been said, over and over again, but love really is winning, you guys. It’s taking a while, but yesterday wasn’t just a glimmer of hope, it was a fireworks display! If that doesn’t fill your heart with overwhelming joy, then well…. I’ll just leave it at that.
But as if THAT wasn’t enough love and bravery for one week, Bree Newsome, took a stand against what is considered by many of our fellow citizens as a symbol of racism and slavery and removed the Confederate flag from the capital grounds in South Carolina. This woman is AMAZING. I just want to hug her. People like this are catalysts for change.
(Bree Newsome takes down the flag. Reuters Media Express/Adam Anderson Photos)
The Confederate flag has been at the center of a debate in Columbia the past week in the wake of the massacre of nine African Americans in a Charleston church by a white supremacist. My heart aches just thinking about it. But if you have been keeping up with the story, you will also learn how the church and the victim’s families have responded with three simply powerful words: “I forgive you“. Hate will absolutely not win. Love’s streak continues. Yes!
Meanwhile, not far from Bree, President Obama was giving the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was gunned down in that terrible massacre. Closing what was already an incredibly rousing and pointed speech on race in our country he led everyone in the singing of Amazing Grace. If you haven’t had a chance to hear that speech and the song, then you should. (Like right now.)
President Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Emotional Charleston Eulogy (Getty)
And so that has been my birthday week. Really how could it get much better? People being kind to each other, even strangers. Freedom and equality extended – granting others the liberties that they deserve. Hate losing over and over again.
You may not see God in this. I do. I see it everywhere.
But, whether you have a faith, or you don’t. There is no doubt the goodness that radiates from theses scenes across the country this week. There can be no doubt the unity that has been formed between neighbors, friends and strangers alike. We are building bridges. One by one by one.
And there is definitely no doubt that my heart has expanded 3x over. What a happy, happy birthday indeed.