What happened to friends?

Friends are the people you can call in the middle of the night when you’re in jail. Or ask to come pick you up on the side of the road when your car breaks down. Or help you pull off a gargantuan task you’ve (over)committed to (“Sure I can make homemade chicken salad for 200 by tomorrow”).

That’s what friends are for, right?

Apparently friends perform those functions less and less, as we turn to professionals for meeting our needs.

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Just Be Kind

As I slowed down to make the left turn, I saw him out of the corner of my eye.

He was near Massachusetts Avenue and the entrance to 395 South here in DC. He was standing between construction cones and Jersey barricades. It was dark, and there weren’t any streetlights nearby either. He wasn’t far from several other panhandlers.

Without thinking much about it, I assumed I knew what the sign he held would say.

But it didn’t tell a sad story (“Wife died.

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Neighbor’s Table

I love what Neighbor’s Table is doing and, especially, how they are doing it.

They say they are “a love mission of ordinary people loving extraordinarily around the table.”

They are also spreading the ethos of just going ahead and getting past the excuses, past the perfection, past whatever keeps you shy and reticent and alone, and gathering a bunch of people around a table.

And they’re also able to sell you a big old table with benches so you two can seat 20 people in one place.

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Burning Down the Fireproof Hotel is Available

The book I’ve been talking about for so long (How long? Three and a half years, seven rewrites and 25 readers’ opinions worth of “long.”) is finally out in the world.

It’s a spiritual memoir, and it’s the background story on why “spaciousness” matters to me. Yes, it’s quirky. No, it can’t be easily categorized. It’s not a tame Sunday school story, but it’s full of Jesus. It’s an exposé of my own judgmental and critical nature, racism, ethnocentrism, fears and —

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Hitchhiking on Someone Else’s Smile

I was on the subway coming home from my workplace downtown. A man changed seats mid-ride and sat unusually close to another passenger. He leaned over too far into a man’s personal space and began looking at the other’s laptop screen. My anxiety rose. We all know not to do this, don’t we? I got up and moved seats, far away.

I’m not proud of this.

In a minute or so, the man came and sat directly in front of me,

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Telling a Damn Good Story without Words

I was playing a game with two toddlers and another adult. Everybody understood the rules: walk around until you’re instructed to sit down on your choice of colorful silk scarves spread out on the ground. And then we’ll take turns telling stories based on the color we’re each sitting on.

The younger of the two little girls doesn’t yet talk much in a traditional, technically accurate way, though she has specific sounds and understands any and everything. The other three of us have quite a lot to say,

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Blood and the Occupational Hazards of Love

My granddaughter fell off her little bike and scraped her finger. Blood flowed. Or trickled, more accurately. She cried. Blood, as we all know, is B-A-D. Our bodily integrity has been compromised. We’ve been affected, impacted by something outside of us. And it’s B-A-D. Or so we believe.

After tending appropriately to my granddaughter (she IS three, after all), I told her what I really thought, “A little blood is good. It means you were doing something cool and you tried something new.

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Saratoga WarHorse, Spacious Care for Veterans — Guest Post by Anne Campbell

There is one segment of our population which is not experiencing much spaciousness. It is veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).

We sent this group off to war, they did their jobs and, as a result, many have been so traumatized by their experiences, they’ve come back home unable to cope with civilian life. Our government provides inadequate treatments that fail to help, rocketing a startling suicide rate.

The New York Times ran an article recently profiling one of these vets and his dysfunctional,

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Catherine Woodiwiss, Guest Post, A SPACIOUS Cab Ride

We’re excited about our guest post today. Here’s a bit about the writer and then her piece in its entirety:
Catherine Woodiwiss writes on faith, policy, and culture; co-runs a design platform; compulsively joins or builds community networks around shared interests and values; and plays music whenever possible. A chronic “Yes, And”-er, she tells us she is also a huge fan of SPACIOUS, and we’re grateful for that.

For someone who loves conversation,

Read more Catherine Woodiwiss, Guest Post, A SPACIOUS Cab Ride