The hashtag #roomformanchester sprang up shortly after the horrific explosion this week at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester England. The point of the hashtag was to signal that your home was open for strangers should they need a place to stay while looking for lost loved ones.

The news has been overwhelming at times. Young, innocent, excited pre-teens and their parents had just finished watching a concert they would remember for a lifetime when suddenly, their lifetimes seemed much shorter than their years would suggest. An ocean away, I have cried numerous times with the world as we collectively watched innocence explode right along with the devastating, dirty bomb.

And yet that hashtag has lingered in my mind. Room for Manchester. Our truest goodness tends to rise quickly in the wake of such tragedy. This particular hashtag had a tinge of conviction for me. I thought of the many ‘hashtags’ I should embrace in life…


Room for stepping out of my comfort zone and into the uncomfortable mess of another’s pain.

‘Room for…’ implies selflessness and an element of danger, as most personal growth does. Manchester residents opened their homes to strangers. Taxi drivers gave free rides to those desperate to find answers. Hotels took in children who couldn’t find their parents.

Manchester made room for those in need. I have to wonder where in my life I need to break down routine and comfort and – using what I already have – make room for others in need…even when that occasionally includes my own needy mind that needs room for encouragement and space.

Can we embrace that hashtag for a bit longer? Can we all make room for bigger, better, scarier, and ultimately an expanding of our hearts for others? Thank you, Manchester, for leading the way. Surely we can learn from their kind, quick and gracious spirits.

Room for……what do you need to make room for?