A police officer from North Carolina recently shared a touching encounter he had with a teenager who randomly approached him one day while he was doing paperwork inside of his patrol vehicle and asked a surprising question: “Can I pray for you?”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Brad Potter wrote on Facebook that he initially thought 16-year-old Caleb Turner was walking toward him to ask for directions, but was “floored” when the young man uttered that question.
“This happened several weeks ago, but given the state of the world these days, I felt like it was important that I share it,” Potter wrote in a March 14 Facebook post. “To be honest, I was pretty stunned. It was not what I was expecting. I stammered out an ‘Of course.'”
The cop said that he at first sat in “a bit of awe at the heart of this young man,” admiring the fact that Turner was so willing to approach him to simply bestow an act of simple kindness. Then, the two prayed together.
“We prayed for our safety, for the safety of my brothers and sisters in blue, and for the safety of our community,” Potter said.
This happened several weeks ago, but given the state of the world these days, I felt like it was important that I share…
After the two prayed, the cop walked with Turner over to his father, who was nearby, telling him that he had raised a wonderful son.
Potter and Turner then took a photo together, which the police officer shared on his Facebook page. In the end, it was an encounter that has stayed on Potter’s mind, which is what led him to share it on social media in the first place.
“As the weeks have gone by, I simply cannot shake the impact that such a small gesture had on me,” he said. “It was a beautiful moment that showcased the best in humanity. Looking out for one another. Caring, and wanting to let someone know that you care. Friendship. Friendship at its finest, between two strangers.”
Potter said he became a cop in an effort to change the world, but said he knows he can’t do it on his own. With that in mind, he encouraged people to take tiny steps to each individually make change, saying Turner’s own act is an excellent example to follow.
“We are at our best when we open our arms, our hearts, and our minds to each other,” Potter added. “We are at our best when we show compassion and care for each other. We are at our best when we show love for each other.”
As for his part, Turner also spoke out after the story went viral, telling local media about the encounter and expressing surprise that his interaction with potter attracted so much attention.
“I prayed for him for his safety and for the safety of the other officers and I thanked them for what they do,” Turner told WSOC-TV. “I wasn’t expecting any of this. I just did it just (because).”
In a separate interview with WBTV-TV, Turner said he wanted to make the cop’s day “a little better and just share Jesus with him.”
Potter and Turner also ended up reuniting at Northside Christian School — where Turner attends — in the wake of the media coverage surrounding the story last week, with the two embracing one another in a touching display.
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