Reminder of Faith in Food

This past weekend my wife and I stopped in to eat at Portillos (if you’ve ever been to Chicago you know the wonderfulness that is Portillos!). When we sat down I looked at the booth next to us and I saw a very elderly couple sitting on one side, and sitting across from them on the other side was a homeless man. The sight of this intrigued me, and I couldn’t help but try to listen in as much as I could. And what I saw and heard truly blessed me.

This elderly couple sat there with this homeless man, fed him, and more than that, were 100% totally engaged with this man and everything he was saying. What was so special was the look on the homeless man’s face as he seemed overwhelmed that some random people he didn’t know would care so much about him.

Living in Chicago, there is no shortage of homeless people around always asking you for money. Many people just get desensitized to their requests. Now I’m not saying that I don’t just pass them by like everyone else the majority of the time, because I do. Though during our brutal winters I do make a point to go through my closet and collect all of my old coats and sweatshirts and I take them and purposefully walk around Chicago to find homeless people to give them to, trying to bless them in the name of Jesus.

But I’ve never taken a homeless person out to eat and sat there doing nothing other than listen to them and try and bless them through engagement. Watching this elderly couple do exactly that was a humbling reminder of another way believers can put their money and mouth where their faith is.

I know for one, the next time I’m headed out to eat and come across a homeless person in need, I’m taking them with me.

Much love.

sacred cow tipping (pt. 2 – the inherent exclusivity of church membership).
These Three Remain: Reaching Towards Faith, Hope and Love as LGBTQ Christians
sacred cow-tipping (pt. 3 – the hypocrisy of a ‘hierarchy of sins’).
Empathy Can Backfire
About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation ( He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Celina

    I love this story. Thank you for sharing. I have told you and Brenda before, I have so much trouble with being confronted with the homeless left and right while living here in Chicago than I have have ever been confronted before! I have been living in the tension of what to do when approached and regret to say, I don't have a solution I am okay with yet. This story gives me inspiration.

  • Andrew Marin

    This story also gave me inspiration! But one side note, Celina, that my wife brought up:Just be careful if you take them out by yourself. Be safe!:)