Teen, officer reunite after request for prayer story goes viral

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte teen reunited Friday with a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer after the story of the teen's offer to pray for the officer went viral.

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."

Friday afternoon, Officer Potter met up with 16-year-old Caleb Turner outside Caleb's school at Northside Christian School. It was the first time the two met since the parking lot prayer.

"I had just gotten my first car and I was filling it up at a gas station," Caleb said, "I saw a police car sitting over in the corner."

Caleb said the reason he walked over to the officer was simply to try and make his day better. "I just wanted to share Jesus with him."

Officer Potter had one stipulation to the request, that 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 says he's shocked by all the attention his simple act has generated.

Friday afternoon he was seemingly swarmed by TV news cameras outside of his school. From the mouth of a 16-year-old came some advice for others.

"If there's something you could do to make their day a little better, then I would say do it," Caleb said.

In his Facebook post, Officer Potter wrote:

"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."

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