CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A police officer in Charlotte says he can't shake the impact a young man had on him with a seemingly small gesture.
Officer Brad Potter says he was working a couple weeks ago, sitting in his patrol car at his usual gas station doing paperwork, when a young man walked over to his vehicle. Officer Potter assumed he was going to be asked for directions since the gas station is so close to the interstate.
What happened next blew him away.
"Can I pray for you?"
The young man had a selfless request for the officer that shook him to the core.
"To be honest, I was pretty stunned. It was not what I was expecting," Potter wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week. "I stammered out an 'of course' and I sat there, in a bit of awe at the heart of this young man. To go up to a complete stranger and ask to pray for them. What an amazing act of pure kindness."
Officer Potter had one stipulation to the request and asked the young man, whose name is Caleb, if they could pray together.
"We clasped hands, and we prayed," Officer Potter recalled. "We prayed for our safety, for the safety of my brothers and sisters in blue and for the safety of our community."
Officer Potter said he walked with Caleb over to his father, who snapped a photo of the pair together.
"I told his father that he had raised an incredible son, and he smiled that proud smile a parent loves to show off," Officer Potter wrote.
Caleb's father told Officer Potter that he "does this kind of thing all the time."
Caleb and his father left and Officer Potter went on a call in the area - but he says the impact of the moment has stayed with him for weeks.
"It was a beautiful moment that showcased the best in humanity. Looking out for one another," Officer Potter wrote. "Caring, and wanting to let someone know that you care. Friendship. Friendship at its finest, between two strangers."
"I want to change the world, which is why I became a police officer in the first place. I know I can't do it on my own, so I always strive to make my little corner of the world better for everyone in it, every day. And it takes all of us doing that to make it happen everywhere," he continued. "It takes a world, to change the world. And with people like Caleb out there in this world, I know we can do it."
Officer Potter hopes the impact he felt from Caleb, the lesson he learned, will spread to others.
"Spread a little love around the world. We are at our best when we open our arms, our hearts and our minds to each other," Officer Potter said. "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. Connect. Respect. Protect. And Love."