Celebrating the End of the Beginning

Yesterday, I received my final chemotherapy.  The oncology nurses celebrated with bubbles and party horns.  I was thinking more of grander fireworks.

Rather than feeling that I reached the promised land, I identified more with Moses and Miriam who after escaping from slavery in Egypt and then from the pursuing Pharaoh and the chariot charging Egyptian army broke into a song of thanksgiving.

Moses sang in Exodus 15:2 –

The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

Then Miriam sang in Exodus 15:21 –

“Sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!


I know I face weeks of recovery from the chemo side effects, and this week and the next will be the worse.  That’s why I don’t feel like I’ve come to the border of the promised land.  I’m still just on the other side of the sea that swallowed the Egyptian army.  I can catch my breath for the moment, but there is a long, unknown journey ahead.  Fortunately many others have walked that path.  And Christ Jesus has proven Himself to be my constant companion on my sojourn through life.

I’ll offer for today a Psalm of David composed as a hymn of thanksgiving for recovery from a grave illness. [Grave illness is a very clever play on words – is a grave illness a sickness unto death?  It was used so wittily by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet when Mercutio is mortally wounded in a sword fight and is asked if the wound is serious.  Mercutio quips, “No, tis not so wide as a church door or as deep as a well.  But tis enough, twill serve.  Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man.”  Gallows humor for sure.  But such thinking has been with me for the past 3 months in the course of my chemotherapy.]

Psalm 30

Thanksgiving for Recovery from Grave Illness
A Psalm Of David.

I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up,
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O LORD,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O LORD, I cried,
and to the LORD I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.


It only counts if it is certified:


11 thoughts on “Celebrating the End of the Beginning

  1. Erick Porter

    Fr. Ted,
    Thanks for letting us accompany you in your struggle, a similar struggle which we will all face one day. Although I have searched mightily for some clue, I have yet to find anything to suggest that I, myself, will be an exception to the rule. Your posts are a daily blessing to me.

  2. Pingback: Celebrating the End of the Beginning | OrthodoxPost.com

  3. Daria Fickes

    I am so thankful that you have endured all of your chemo treatments and pray that God will bless you with good health and happiness! Love in Christ, Daria

  4. Kathy

    We are so thankful and happy to hear that you have completed the treatments. I know they are rough but with God’s help you were able to toughen and endure. May your recovery continue to progress forward to good health, peace, prosperity and furtherance in all your good endeavors. Many Years! Love, Kathy and Phil

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