Celebrating the Last Cancer Treatment

A prayer based on Psalm 145

 

“I will exalt you, my God the King;

I will praise your name for ever and ever.

Every day I will praise you

and extol your name for ever and ever.”[1]

 

God, you are awesome. Always awesome.

When things are pants and when things are good,

You are awesome.

Just as your love for us isn’t based on what we can do for You

(as if we could do anything for You)

our love for You isn’t based on what You do for us.

Your awesomeness is not tied to our happiness.

Your awesomeness just is.

We see Your awesomeness in the gentle wisdom of the Macmillian nurse.

In the precision of the surgeon’s hands

In the gentle care of the physio therapist,

In the unexpected humour of the chemo nurse,

In the ingenuity of the radiologists.

 

They “tell of your mighty acts.  

They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty”[2]

Your awesome presence is felt in our friends and family

who remind us again that we are super people,

but are not expected to be superheroes and put on a brave face.

We are not left to endure.

 

With each story, each offer of prayer, each “thinking of you” text,

we are reminded how loved we are and how awesome You are.

And not just awesome now, but for them to,

for their aunts, uncles, sisters, spouses, children, friends.

However things turn out – we aren’t alone.

None of us were alone – even when we shouted at You.

God – that’s awesome.

 

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love.

 The Lord is good to all;

he has compassion on all he has made.  

All your works praise you, Lord;

your faithful people extol you.”[3]

When the treatments finish, we ring a big brass bell.

The sound reverberates out,

throughout the treatment centre and beyond,

our proclamation to cancer that “We have regained our lives!”

With each clang of the bell,

each celebration and round of applause,

God, I remember that you continue to reach out

in certain and unexpected ways.

 

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises

and faithful in all he does.”[4]

 

Not everyone rings the bell with joy.

Some ring the bell knowing that this is the best doctors can do,

for now.

To say “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing”

is a difficult truth to believe sometimes.[5]

But regardless, we trust You and we hold onto the promise

 

“He hears their cry and saves them.

The Lord watches over all who love him”[6]

 

Despite how we may feel, two truths remain:

God, You are awesome,

and You know what You are doing.

 

[1] Psalm 145:1-2 NIV

[2] Psalm 145:4-5 NIV

[3] Psalm 145 8-10 NIV

[4] Psalm 145:13 NIV

[5] Psalm 145:16 NIV

[6] Psalm 145:19b-20a NIV

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