Published by Brazos Press on February 2, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Memoir
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"Readers looking for ways to get involved in their communities will find plenty to motivate them in Krinks's personal testament."--Publishers WeeklyAt age twenty, Lindsey Krinks thought she had her life figured out. But a devastating injury and an unexpected encounter with a homeless organizing group disrupted her plans and opened her eyes to the immense suffering and injustice around her. Awakened to a fierce pursuit of justice and a faith that called her to "pray with her feet," Krinks plunged into the underside of American society, where she found both staggering loss and astounding love.
As a street chaplain, activist, and cofounder of Open Table Nashville, Krinks takes us on an unforgettable spiritual journey to tent cities, alleys, slums, and the front lines of movements for justice. Praying with Our Feet challenges preconceptions about people who live on the streets, calling us to move from charity to justice and to get our hands dirty in the struggle for a better world.
Readers who are dismayed by the world's suffering but don't know where to start will find much inspiration in this intimate and moving book. Includes end-of-book discussion questions for each chapter.
Early on in my first long-term pastorate, I had a meeting with a parishioner who lived in the adjoining neighborhood. The overwhelming majority of the church lived outside the neighborhood and the church didn’t have a great presence in the local community. This parishioner wanted to meet with me to discuss how I might be able to change that. Well, in truth, she already had a well-formulated plan for me involving going door-to-door and inviting everyone to church. I asked her to go with me. It was her neighborhood. She had the relationship with them. I was new. (And also, if I lived in this neighborhood, I certainly wouldn’t be opening the door for random white guys.) But we didn’t get any farther than this. “Well, I just thought I’d come to the church and pray while you did the work.”
I can appreciate this sentiment because, truthfully, we need more prayer warriors like this dear woman. Our churches can run all business-like and never take time for prayer. But sometimes, God puts you in a place both to pray and to answer prayer. Praying with Our Feet is a memoir that teaches us to do just that. Instead of just praying for the homeless or for better policing or better governance, Lindsey Krinks put feet to her faith and challenges us through her life to be the answers to prayers that so many people are praying.
Lindsey Krinks never intended to be an activist. From a staunchly conservative Church of Christ upbringing that heavily advocates the “women be silent” motif of church patriarchy, speaking out wasn’t something she necessarily thought of doing. But as she moved to college and got out of her bubble and became introduced to the vast needs of the world, she knew she had to do something. It sparked a lifelong journey into the margins of society to engage in support and solidarity with the poor and the homeless of Nashville, Tennessee.
Praying with Our Feet is uplifting when it can be, damning where it should be, and challenging to that notions of how to live out our faith. Krinks not only takes on governments unwilling to care for the poor, she faces backlash from believers as well. Krinks powerfully points out with precision and detail where the church and the state are failing and offers a scathing indictment that remains saturated with the mercy and grace of Jesus.
Praying with Our Feet is an example of Krinks preaching with her feet. It’s her story, not just her words, that preach. It’s her example that teaches. It’s her own struggle that informs. Lindsey puts feet to her faith and offers up her own body as a living sacrifice and sacrificial example of what it means to follow Jesus.
There is probably a way you can read this book as a dispassionate observer, applaud her journey, and move on about your own journey unchanged. Probably. But if so, I don’t know how to do it. This is the kind of book that can radically alter your life’s trajectory. Whether you’ve been on the fringes of activism but have been hesitant to dive in or whether you’ve never even considered the way complex systems affect poverty and homelessness, Praying with Our Feet is a call toward deeper action—and deeper prayer. It is a recognition that the Christian life is a partnership between the individual and the Holy Spirit within them to inaugurate some small piece of the Kingdom here on earth. It’s a beautiful book. It’s a terrifying book. If you’re content with comfortable Christianity, you’re not going to like this. If you’re ready to put feet to your faith and step out of the boat, Praying with Our Feet is proof that it can be done and provides an honest and raw discussion of what it might look like.