When we hear the word “third space” now we think of coffeeshops and other places you can go that aren’t your house or your office. (Unless, like me, you work from home.)
But I am thinking also of all the other kinds of third spaces I have known, where people of different opinions and backgrounds came together around a common goal and learned to live in community. Over the past twenty years, I’ve been a part of these kinds of third spaces, and it’s been my experience that nearly all of them have done one of three things: they have moved to the left and become suspicious of other opinions, they have moved to the right and become suspicious of other opinions, or they have remained in an uncomfortable center where differing people continued to come together in community and found that was not financially sustainable and died out.
Which leaves people like me, doctrinally orthodox but not culturally evangelical, neurodivergent and deeply craving an environment where I can be myself, completely out in the cold.