November 18, 2022

Compassion in Action by Alan Anderson


“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”—Matthew 9: 36 (NIV)


“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it”—Luke 19:41



I included the above Scripture references in my first post of this year. The post title, “A Time for Compassion,” outlined my need to follow compassion as a way of life in. See,



Before I continue perhaps a caveat is in order. My post on compassion in January has embraced me through 2022. I will offer a brief response to what this means. I am aware of how controversial this post may be to readers. I offer it as an example of how our compassion may be put into action.


Compassion in a Time of Chaos


Compassion need not be a mere passive feeling but an expression of action about a response to the plight of someone else. There is a place for emotional response, yet this may not be enough. These past two years remind me of the importance of speaking into the confused and destructive path secular minds and actions have inflicted on Canada.



As a retired healthcare chaplain, I hang my head in shame in response to how leaders introduced euthanasia to our country. Canada is now the most permissive country in the world for the expansion of euthanasia, or so-called Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). Euthanasia has historically been recognized as murder in Canada. For whatever reason it is now legal. The reality of changing something in the Criminal Code to legal, does not make it moral. This also does not make it an act of compassion.



Canada has chosen a destructive path by the inclusion of euthanasia into the realm of “healthcare.” Politicians and healthcare professionals do not exhibit wisdom in their unabashed use of this approach to end-of-life. MAiD is even permitted in government funded hospice facilities now. This shows disregard for the philosophy of hospice.


Compassion in Action


Over the almost past two years I have devoted my energy to researching a compassionate and dignified response to euthanasia. Here is an idea of how I hope to encourage Christians to turn to acts of compassion instead of those which hasten death.



While I write this post my mind is on a ministry, I hope to develop within the church community of which I am a member. The focus is on end-of-life care for Christian people. This ministry offers a compassionate presence to Orthodox Christians with a terminal illness and requesting end-of-life spiritual care and support. A team of volunteers will assist Orthodox Christians rediscover and follow the ancient Christian burial practices, including a recognition of the physical body as a sacred vessel. As our biological existence ends, we prepare for our transition from this world and into the hands of God.



This ministry is not a mere noble gesture, but a viable alternative to euthanasia in Canada. I ask God to help me nurture compassion and love for people by not being involved in an act to hasten death.



I am aware this post may be met with mixed responses and emotional reactions by readers. I cannot, however, ignore this blind direction our country has chosen. On the other hand, as Christians, we can speak into the darkness and resist it by compassion in action.


May God show His compassion to Canada.



Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry, and their poodle, Charlie. He contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018; Easter Stories & More by InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, 2021. He is currently working on a book expressing the grief of grieving grandparents entitled, Hidden Poetic Voices: A Reflective Work of Grief, Faith, and Poetry. Alan periodically writes articles for FellowScript Magazine. He has written posts for our InScribe blog since 2015. Blog:


  1. Thank you, Alan, for not only speaking up on this topic, but also for choosing to do something to help those who do not agree with the direction our government has taken.
    I wonder how many people feel less peace about end of life issues because they worry someone will pressure them into accepting euthanasia in their situation. (I worry about it.) It's so sad that we're destroying life on both ends of the human life cycle. This is what happens when society doesn't believe we're created in the Image of God.
    Blessings, dear brother.

    1. Dear Wendy. We are in a sad time. Canada's denial, aversion, and evading the reality of death and suffering is now even more conditioned by the inclusion of euthanasia into the culture. Here in BC the Ministry of Health has forced it even on hospice. This was the last straw for me. This was an out and out total disregard for the sanctuary a hospice is to be. I now use the term in a loose sense. A facility of "care," for dying people is no longer a place of safety. May God have mercy on our politicians and healthcare professionals.

  2. Many blessings to you Alan as you continue to speak from your heart. You are a true "pastor" with a heart for people.

    1. Dear Tracy. I appreciate your words so much. Yes, it is about people made in the image of God. A statement I love from Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement says, "We are to kill pain, not people." This is profound and a belief we Christians can embrace. Thank you for your encouragement, my friend. I'm "retired," but I'm not finished yet. :)

  3. I applaud you, Alan, for standing up on this important topic. I, too, am appalled by this policy of the Canadian government, and it's about to get worse with people who have mental illness soon allowed to sign up and take their lives. Oh, how we need compassion and wisdom to confront this destruction of human life.

    1. Dear Lorrie. Thank you for the support of this post. I was a bit nervous about posting the message. You are right about the assault on people with mental illness through making euthanasia more accessible. I am disappointed our government doesn't put as much energy and creativity into better access to palliative care. Believe me, this perverse perspective on end-of-life "care," will not stop at people with a mental illness.
      We must continue to pray with the hope Canada's direction in life will return to God.


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