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Not complaint and optimism but lament and hope

Our dominant cultural and medical approaches to suffering and death are characterized by complaint and optimism. People tend to be optimistic that any illness or wound can be treated and cured. If for some reason that does not seem possible, we shift into a mode of complaint--complaint about the pain being endured, complaint that medical technology has not progressed rapidly enough, complaint that we are not devoting enough resources to saving the lives of those we care about.... In Practicing Our Faith, Amy Plantinga Pauw notes that the Christian practice of dying well should be shaped not by complaint and optimism, but by lament and hope."

--  L. Gregory Jones, dean of Duke Divinity School, in "Shaped By Lament and Hope," from The Christian Century, on the Century's web site, April 28, 1999