One of the following, or some other suitable passage of Scripture, is read.
The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:5 (BCP, p 105)
Yesterday morning, a homeless woman wandered into the library just as the doors were unlocked for the day. She wanted help finding an affordable place to live. The two librarians offered to help as best they could – looking online for options, getting her in touch with local outreach groups, etc. She refused the help; it wasn’t in the form she could accept, so she didn’t.
Before she left, she looked at the books on display and read a few of the notices posted on the board. When she walked out the door twenty minutes later, her circumstances were the same. She was still homeless. But something had changed.
For twenty minutes, two people listened to her. They looked at her, and they talked with her rather than at her. They did the best they could to help, and when the help was refused, they didn’t roll their eyes or offer sarcastic comments. They just stayed in that uncomfortable space.
For me, it was as sure a sign as any that God’s love is alive and well, and the Spirit dwelling in our hearts shows herself in all kinds of circumstances.