Take a step back from all the headlines that are the story of this upcoming event in which Martin McGuinness and the Queen will meet.
Try to think beyond its historic handshake to put this moment in its proper place and context.
Understand this is more than just a meeting that will pass in a few minutes; something more than the headlines that will be replaced with others in our gluttonous business of news that is never fully fed and that always asks for more.
This is a huge happening; part of what could be described as the human phase of our peace process, and without doubt the beginning of another significant chapter.
It won’t be easy, not for Martin McGuinness and not for the Queen, not in the context of decades of killings and victims, among them Lord Mountbatten and those shot down on Bloody Sunday.
These are still raw wounds; and just some of the many, many unhealed hurts.
Beyond ceasefires, ending armed campaigns, decommissioning, the Army’s demilitarisation, policing and politics, there is still a need for more.
Peace is not just about the absence of violence; not just about the guns and bombs going quiet.
It is about reaching for something much higher; healing, reconciliation, stepping into the shoes of others, talking, trying to understand, ending enemy relationships and doing those difficult but decent and necessary human things.
Of course, it would have been easy, and entirely understandable, if either the Queen or Martin McGuinness or both had turned their backs on this event and invitation; but doing the easy makes no contribution to peace.
Leadership does, and this is leadership in a two-way sense; both being asked to do something difficult.
It needed the right stage to make it happen, and the peace building organisation Co-operation Ireland helped build it – an organisation whose chief executive Peter Sheridan spent thirty years in policing service with the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the PSNI.
He was targeted by the IRA, at a time when republicans would have viewed him as part of an enemy force.
Again it would be easy and understandable if people were to stay lost in those experiences, and not think outside their own perspectives.
Sheridan and McGuinness are not living in the past, a past in which both have been hurt as individuals and as members of the broader republican and policing communities.
In the developing peace process, they met in Downing Street in 2004 as part of a first meeting between republican leaders and senior police officers.
They met again, and were photographed during a festival event in west Belfast in 2010, also attended by the loyalist leader Jackie McDonald.
Eamonnmallie.com publishes photographs of that event captured by MT Hurson of Harrison Photography.
Their meetings and their handshakes do not mean they have forgotten what happened and at what cost.
How could they?
The reality is they never will.
McGuinness was part of the IRA war, a leader in it, but that war had other leaders and other sides and many ugly truths.
I have written many times that what happened cannot be explained in simplistic narratives of ‘goodies and baddies’, and cannot be blamed on one side or on any one individual.
A way has yet to be found to allow for questions to be asked and answers given; some way that will produce information and a detailed explanation of past events.
In this human phase of our process this is another of the challenges – something as big, indeed arguably bigger, than Martin McGuinness and the Queen meeting.
For decades, there has been a wall between them as there are walls still between our communities and our people.
Slowly, bricks are being removed from those dividing structures, and on Wednesday we will have a leadership example of how that is done.
At the Lyric Theatre the Queen, the Irish President, the First Minister and Deputy First Minister will meet in an event fashioned out of culture and arts and set within an all-island pattern.
It is an event that needed a little creative imagination to give it the right appearance; an event that Sheridan describes as a celebration of “life beyond conflict”.
It is another significant step forward, something that has had to be talked through and explained across the republican community and talked through and explained inside Buckingham Palace and elsewhere.
It also comes at a time when Sinn Fein is engaged off-stage with people from the Protestant/unionist/loyalist community in what are described as “uncomfortable conversations”.
The party’s national chair Declan Kearney is a key figure in that dialogue as is the former Methodist President Harold Good.
In the context of those talks, a rejection of Wednesday’s invitation to meet the Queen would not have been understood or excused.
Republicans could have binned their reconciliation initiative – no one in the unionist community would have taken it or them seriously.
So, we wait now for the meeting, but let us not get lost in that moment and its headlines.
This is not intended as a full stop, but rather the beginning of another sentence or page or chapter in the peace process – a big moment in its human phase.
It will not be understood or accepted by everyone, but it will be understood and accepted by most, and it is right that it is happening.