One autumn evening I was patrolling the streets of Whapmagoostui and I was hurting and crying in my heart. I have been a special constable for a little over a year now and I lost many friends. They turned against me. But this was not the reason why I was hurting. I missed my two daughters who were living with their mother in Mistissini at that time. I so wanted to hug my little girls again. The pain was unbearable.

As I came around the corner of this gravel road I heard a church bell ring. I turned right and I saw the Anglican Church by the riverbank. I stopped and asked myself whether I should go to church or not. For a moment, I was unenthusiastic, but I managed to pull myself together and go anyway, even if it was going to kill me. I leisurely pulled up to the parking lot and parked the navy-blue patrol vehicle.

As I entered the House of God, heads turned and many eyes stared right at me. I took a seat at the very back, bowed down and I began to pray. I asked God to take this pain away from me, as I could literally feel the heaviness in my heart. There was a reception of the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Communion that night.

When it was time, I stood up and I walked up to the altar to receive communion. I could feel many eyes looking at me as I inched my way up the Altar. I kneeled and hung my head, placed my hands together with one hand over the other facing up.

The clergyman with a long-sleeved, white garment took out a small, round white bread from the cup and placed it on the palm of my hand and he said the words of consecration, “Take this bread and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you.” I ate the bread and whispered, “Amen.” The clergyman holding the Cup of Christ came up to me and held it against my lips and said to me, “Take this and drink from it: for this is the chalice of my blood.” I took a sip of that Blessed, fine, red wine and whispered again, “Amen.” I then went back to my seat to pray more and ask for forgiveness for all the mistakes I made in my life.

When the service was over I was the last one to leave. As I walked out the door that beautiful evening there was no more pain and the heaviness in my heart had been lifted. I felt joyful. I had a smile on my face again. I knew that my prayers were heard and have been answered.

The next day I was shocked to hear that I was the talk of the town. The Cree were mocking me and accused me of not respecting the Church by entering the House of God in my police uniform. They said to one another, “Did you hear what he did? He brought a gun to Church last night. He shouldn’t dress like that in Church. He was just showing off because he is a cop. He makes me sick! He’s so proud of himself! He thinks he’s all that!” I could not believe what I was hearing. “People are still judging me at Church?” I asked myself. I was troubled.

But one day while out hunting for Canada Geese I took a moment to break from the hunt and pray. In the open fields of granite rock and marshes I sat down by this stone covered with black, crispy flakes. With my hands joined together in a prayer position, I asked God, “Why these horrible persecutions at your House? How can people be so cruel? What have I done to deserve this?” I prayed for Him to give me strength and courage not to give up.

A few days later as I was out walking I was given the knowledge and understanding in a blink of an eye why people were judging me. I remembered what Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not be troubled when the world hates you. Remember, it hated Me first.”

I then asked myself, “Not everyone loved Jesus when he walked the earth, so why should everyone love me?” I was troubled no more. God Bless.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1