— -- A speeding truck driver was recently surprised by the kindness of an Indiana state police officer who chose to pray with him rather than ticket him.
Rodney Gibson said he was so upset this past Monday -- struggling to accept the fact his daughter's breast cancer was not going away -- that he didn't realize he was speeding down a busy highway in Bloomington, Indiana, ABC affiliate WRTV reported.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Durnil told ABC News today when he pulled Gibson over, Gibson appeared to be very "upset and angry" -- not about the traffic stop, but rather -- about "something else going on."
The officer was trying to "figure out a way to get through to" Gibson when he noticed an angel pin on Gibson's sun visor that was actually identical to one he had, Durnil said.
Durnil pointed the angel pin out to Gibson, "thinking how we're probably not all that different," and Gibson then explained "with tears in his eyes" that the pin was from his daughter. She was recently told the breast cancer she'd been battling for six years metastasized and that she likely wasn't going to make it.
On his way back to his patrol car, Durnil said his first thought was that Gibson really needed prayers and that he would tell his family and church to pray for Gibson.
"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 then asked Gibson if there was anything else if he could do for him and Gibson told him, "Do you know how to pray?"
"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."
Durnil then went over to the right side of the semi, took his hat off, knelt down, took Gibson's hand and said a prayer. Both the men had tears in their eyes, Durnil said.
The following morning, Durnil said he found out that his station received a call from Gibson saying he wanted to thank Durnil for his kindness.
The company Gibson works for also got word of the story and called into the station as well to share Gibson's number with Durnil so the two can connect again in the near future.
"I hope everyone that hears about this is one more person that can pray for him and his family," Durnil said.