'Can I Pray for You' Is the Last Thing Speeding Woman Expected to Hear from Officer

A chance encounter on a North Carolina highway showed the power of faith to transform random events into powerful moments.

The bare facts are simple. In March, North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Jaret Doty pulled over Ashlye Wilkerson for speeding.

As CNN recounted the opening moments of the interaction, it was all business.

“Ma’am, do you know what speed you were doing?” Doty said. “I’m going to need your license and registration.”

Wilkerson went to comply, but as she did, her father, Anthony Geddis, spoke up.

“This is my baby girl. She’s driving me home from a chemo treatment at the cancer center at Duke,” Geddis said.

Doty returned to his patrol car. Wilkerson, her father and her daughters waited. And waited.

“Gosh, what’s taking him such a long time?” Wilkerson said to her father. “I wonder what’s going on.”

Doty had suffered ulcerative colitis and undergone surgery to remove part of his colon. While recovering, he had made a promise to himself.

“I said that if I could touch one person or help somebody get through their illness, I would do it,” he said.

That vow was on his mind as he sat in his patrol car.

“At that time I knew there is no way I’m writing this lady a ticket,” Doty said, according to WSOC-TV.  “I had to sit in (my car) for a while just to compose myself to figure out what to say when I went back.”

When he did, it was a shock to Wilkerson.

“Sir, do you mind if I ask what kind of cancer you have?” Doty said, CNN reported.

“No, I don’t mind. I have colon cancer,” Geddis replied.

“Can I pray for you?” Doty said.

“Of course,” Geddis said. “I absolutely believe in prayer.”

Geddis grasped Doty’s hand, and they prayed as Wilkerson took a picture.

Doty gave Geddis a silver cross as they finished.

“I just want you to know that you have someone else praying for you on your journey,” the trooper said.

Wilkerson was given a warning and drove off.

Two months later, after Geddis passed away, Wilkerson wrote about her father on social media and shared the picture she took of Doty and her father. The LinkedIn Post was reproduced by FaithWire.

“When he came back, he asked you if he heard correctly that you had cancer. Once you confirmed, the officer took a deep breath. He sighed and said that he too had loved ones who battled cancer as well. He asked if he could pray with you. You welcomed the prayers with gratitude and informed him that you’re a deacon of your church. You proudly shared your love for Christ and your belief that God’s will would be done. When you all were done, there was a small silver cross that he placed in your hand for you to keep with you as a symbol of your faith,” she wrote.

“Heartfelt thanks to this officer who prayed for and with you that day,” she wrote.

As that post resonated, the spotlight fell on Doty.

“I’m not worthy of any of this,” he said, according to WSOC-TV. “This is about Mrs. Wilkerson grieving her father.”

Doty attributed the incident to God.

“Had they left that Duke Medical Center five minutes earlier or five minutes later, I may not have been on the interstate,” he said. “If somebody would’ve been speeding before them, I would’ve stopped them. It’s just God works in mysterious ways.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.