In Praise of Small Spaces

By: Tyler Sit
September 29, 2014

I have to say, though, that living in a small space has now become part of my vocation. My limited space has taught me lessons about my limited life.

“This is the smallest unit in the entire building,” the landlord cautioned me as he opened the door. The good news is that the room was decidedly bigger than a janitor’s closet. But not that much bigger.

I did what you’re never supposed to do: agree to live in an apartment you hadn’t seen in real life. But the intentional community offering this room had everything that I wanted:

  • tenants from a dozen cultures and countries;
  • mixed income housing; and
  • a focus on environmental sustainability.

What could go wrong?

After I moved in I tried to lay down on the floor to meditate. I realized that I could not lay across the width of the room without craning my neck and putting my shoulders on the wall. The length of the room is half occupied by a bed, and the dimensions feel even smaller by the fact that my (communal) bathroom and kitchen are down the hall. (Alright, so I won’t be throwing any big parties.)

I have to say, though, that living in a small space has now become part of my vocation.

My limited space has taught me lessons about my limited life. Similar to the rest of life, I cannot hold onto everything. Similar to the rest of life, God provides for me in small, often unglamorous, and extremely faithful ways. Similar to the rest of my life, my room reminds me that no matter how inconvenient I find parts of my day, a tremendous percentage of today’s world lives in much more difficult circumstance.

I came to this community to learn from the people, but I find myself being taught just as much by the space itself. Who knows, maybe my next church will have a janitor’s closet I could upgrade to!



Tyler Sit is a Church Planting Resident at Urban Village Church (Chicago, IL). He is a proud resident of the Institute of Cultural Affairs intentional housing community which, don’t worry, also offers extremely spacious and comfortable living circumstances. See more at: www.ica-usa.org

Tags: Thinking Out Loud, Shaping the Future


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