Praying with Our Feet

Pursuing Justice and Healing on the Streets

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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 Weekly

At 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.

Author's Note
1. Upstream
2. Descent
3. Broken Soil
4. Downhill
5. Burning Hearts
6. Wilderness
7. Emergence
8. Accompaniment
9. Wick
10. Tending Wounds
11. Another World
Discussion Guide


"I wholeheartedly say amen to Praying with Our Feet. The continued growth of poverty and homelessness in the richest country in the world is a moral failing and a social sin. Those who have decided to devote their lives to the faithful and who struggle to uplift all of God's children, from 'the least of these' to 'all of these,' need to be heard. The story Krinks tells in her book is one of an important and needed ministry of work with the poor and homeless. It is a story among many other untold stories of unsung saints."

Willie Baptist, activist, educator, author, and formerly homeless father

"I took up this book expecting a study of the integration of action and contemplation. What I was delighted to find was a superbly written story about the life-forming experiences that brought Krinks to such integration."

Paul Quenon, Abbey of Gethsemani; author of In Praise of the Useless Life: A Monk's Memoir

"Krinks reminds us time and again that one life does make a difference--be it our own or another's--and this is both gift and grace. Our world desperately needs not only our caring but also our actions to heal and to continue to point us to the new heaven and new earth where justice and love find their home. This is a powerful book of stories that will keep you reading. Read. Be challenged. Act."

Emilie M. Townes, dean and distinguished professor of womanist ethics and society, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

"Thoughtfully crafted and powerfully told, Praying with Our Feet is a story of a movement growing from those who are homeless but not helpless coming together to demand dignity, life, and change. Activist, theologian, and sister in the struggle Lindsey Krinks weaves together stories from her upbringing with stories of those left out of the prosperity God intends for all. With great sensitivity and honesty, she calls people to fix their gaze on the stark reality of poverty and homelessness, and witnesses to how poor and homeless leaders and people of faith and conscience endeavor to do something about it. I am familiar with many of the people's stories lifted up by Krinks and thank her for treating the lives and wounds of so many of God's people as serious and sacred, and for recognizing these people as moral and political agents of change."

Liz Theoharis, cochair, Poor People's Campaign; codirector, Kairos: The Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice, Union Theological Seminary

"Praying with one's feet changes everything--not only religion and spirituality but also lives and communities, and even words spoken or written. Lindsey Krinks takes her readers on a journey in which this insight deepens on every page. She brings together the personal and the political, with a hint toward economic possibilities."

Joerg Rieger, distinguished professor of theology, Cal Turner Chancellor's Chair in Wesleyan Studies, and director of the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

"Praying with Our Feet reminds us that theology is meant to be lived out, not sequestered in the ivory towers of academia. This book shines a light on the people who need our solidarity more now than ever. Praise for Lindsey Krinks for writing such a timely read for all of us."

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, founder of the Activist Theology Project

The Author

  1. Lindsey Krinks
    Jessica Risinger

    Lindsey Krinks

    Lindsey Krinks (MTS, Vanderbilt Divinity School) is a street chaplain, activist, and nonprofit leader who has worked for over a decade on the front lines of social justice movements. She is the cofounder of Open Table Nashville, a nationally acclaimed...

    Continue reading about Lindsey Krinks


"Krinks, an interfaith chaplain and cofounder of Open Table Nashville, a homeless outreach nonprofit, recounts in her sharp debut how she became an activist. . . . . The memoir weaves deeply-held principles of Christian social activism--Krinks cites as inspiration Dorothy Day, Parker Palmer, Thomas Merton, and the Old Testament prophet Amos--with personal stories--often tragic and sometimes redemptive--of those she worked with. Krinks also discusses her family history of mental illness and admits to nervousness about seeking ordination, as she felt more committed to 'people on the streets and in the abandoned, undomesticated spaces in our society' than to any church. . . . Readers looking for ways to get involved in their communities will find plenty to motivate them in Krinks's personal testament."

Publishers Weekly

"Lindsey Krinks's Praying with Our Feet is a passionate religious memoir about advocating for Nashville's homeless community. . . . The faith she espouses is grounded in liberation theology, described with conviction, strength, and grace. . . . Praying with Our Feet is a powerful, timely, and inspirational account of mindfulness and action. It makes a persuasive case that it is in 'the walking, the sharing, the breaking of bread' that people find liberation and salvation."

Kristen Rabe,