His Glorious Face

THE FACE OF MERCY: Stories and Reflections from the streets of New York

“Jesus Christ reveals the face of the Father’s mercy.” (Pope Francis)

Of You my heart has spoken: Seek His Face.” (Psalm 27)

May 24, 2016

It has been just over a week since a beloved brother in the Lord completed his journey to the Father’s House. Timothy Gilbride served faithfully as a LAMP Missionary for the past six years. After an unexpected cancer diagnosis in February, and a brief but valiant battle, he was taken home on May 15, 2016, Pentecost Sunday. Timothy was a joyful servant – full of abundant life, inimitable humor, and humble sincerity.

In these days since his death, wake and funeral, we in the LAMP family have shared many “Timothy stories”. There are many to share! One thing we dearly miss is listening to the riveting stories he himself told on Monday mornings at our weekly community gathering. While I could write about Timothy, I think it would be more effective to let you hear from him personally. The following is an account written by Timothy himself. Though just one of numerous stories from time spent with the elderly poor in several nursing homes in Brooklyn, it offers an authentic glimpse into the heart of our dear brother and friend.May Timothy, who constantly sought the Face of Jesus in His beloved poor, now behold His Glorious Face for all eternity!

“While doing my rounds at the nursing home, I came across Dolores* sitting in her wheelchair in the hall. She is ordinarily very eager to pray and talk about God. But this day she seemed out-of-sorts and distraught. She told me she didn’t want to visit this day. I let her know that if she changed her mind, I would be on her floor for a while. Moments later, she asked me to come to her room. She told me that she was not a good Christian because she could not forgive her husband. She then went on a 20-minute rant covering a variety of human emotions – mostly rage and sadness. She was crying, punching tables, and throwing items around the room. She obviously had very deep pain. Not knowing what to do, I prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

Even though this was a woman well versed in the Bible, I could see that there was a different approach that needed to be taken.

I was led to just continue to listen. Apparently her husband had abused and tortured her for some time and she had never revealed this to anyone. As time went on she was getting more weary. The intensity abated. When she appeared to be completely exhausted, we prayed for God’s help and I departed. I left her in a peaceful state.

On my next visit, I was greeted with a big, warm, loving smile from Dolores. She exclaimed, “I have forgiven my husband. I prayed to God to help me forgive him, and I did.”

I thank the Holy Spirit for leading me to her, guiding me through our encounter, and leading to a peaceful resolution for her. And I am grateful to God for using me as His instrument to help heal her wounded heart.”

– LAMP Missionary Kirsten Goza