When a cop pulled over an “upset and angry” truck driver for speeding, he never could have anticipated the chain of events that were about to unfold. After exchanging a few words, things really took a turn when the man looked at the officer and asked, “Do you know how to pray?”
Rodney Gibson was speeding through Bloomington, Indiana on a Monday when he crossed paths with Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Durnil, according to RTV6. Already struggling with life, Gibson didn’t notice the police car behind him while driving on SR 37 in Monroe County until it was too late. It was evident that he was being pulled over, and it was the last thing this trucker needed.
As Sgt. Durnil approached, he quickly noticed Gibson appeared to be very “upset and angry.” The officer is accustomed to seeing such a reaction, but this time it seemed different to Durnil. Although the stress of a traffic stop is enough to cause anyone to feel a little frustrated, that didn’t seem to be what was bothering the trucker. Durnil would soon learn Gibson had “something else going on” and his distress had nothing to do with a speeding citation.
Sensing that Gibson was troubled and frustrated, Durnil decided to try to “figure out a way to get through to” the agitated trucker when he noticed an angel pin on the sun visor of the man’s truck. It was identical to one Durnil had, so he pointed it out, “thinking how we’re probably not all that different,” the officer explained. “With tears in his eyes,” Gibson told Durnil the pin was from his daughter, who had been battling breast cancer and just received devastating news. After fighting the disease for six years, it had metastasized.
Rodney Gibson was struggling to come to grips with the fact that there was nothing left to do for the breast cancer and it was likely it would ultimately claim his daughter’s life very soon. Gibson had been caught up in these thoughts and so distracted by the unsettling circumstances that he hadn’t even realized he was speeding down the busy highway — not until he had already gotten himself on Durnil’s radar and found himself being pulled over.
After hearing about Gibson’s ordeal, Durnil was headed back to his patrol car, thinking what Gibson really needed was prayers and that he should ask his family and church to pray for Gibson and his daughter. “I also thought, this man already has enough, I’m not going to write him any paperwork for a ticket or even a warning,” he said. “When I walked back to his truck, I explained everything. He still seemed agitated, but not as bad, and he apologized, saying, ‘I’m sorry, I usually don’t act this way, I’ve just been going through a lot,'” Durnil recalled.
Without mentioning the fact that he had already decided to add the trucker to his prayer requests, the officer asked if there was anything else he could do for Gibson. “Do you know how to pray?” Gibson asked Durnil to his utter surprise. “Here I was thinking this man needs prayer, and now he’s asking me for a prayer,” Durnil said. “The good Lord put us together for a purpose,” he added.
Sgt. Todd Durnil went over to the right side of the semi, took his hat off, knelt down, and took Rodney Gibson’s hand. Both men prayed together along the side of the road with tears in their eyes. Then, Durnil sent Gibson on his way. The following morning, the cop found out that Rodney Gibson called the police station to thank him for his kindness. The company Gibson works for also got wind of the story and called the station to give Gibson’s number to Durnil so the two could connect again, ABC News reported.
“I hope everyone that hears about this is one more person that can pray for him and his family,” Durnil said after the Indiana state police officer’s act of kindness began to spread. But, the story has provided so much more than just prayer for Rodney Gibson and his daughter. It’s served as a reminder that good can come out of a bad situation. Being pulled over for speeding was the last thing this trucker ever wanted, but it turned out to be exactly what he needed at the time.