A photo is circulating the internet of a young man named Juan O’Neal praying over an officer in a Florida fast-food restaurant. While the image is touching to look at – the whole story behind it is warming people’s hearts too.
It all started when Sergeant Cameron Tucker and his wife Justine went out to dinner at their local Zaxby’s. However, they never expected it’d become an evening that would make headlines.
Juan O’Neal, a 21-year-old college student, just so happened to be in the restaurant at the same time as the Tuckers.
The Volusia County cop and Juan initially spoke a little at the food counter, but it wasn’t anything more than small talk. Shortly after Juan decided to approach their table with a request.
As it turns out, Juan’s very familiar with the world of police officers and the difficulties they face on a daily basis. His father actually belongs to the police force in Georgia.
The Stetson University senior is also a very spiritual person, which is why he likes to offer prayer to those he feels need it. That night he felt “compelled” to share one with Sgt. Tucker right there in the Zaxby’s dining room.
Juan later spoke with WESH 2 News, saying:
“I really just wanted to let him know that like I see him, and that I appreciate his service because like I said my dad has gone through a lot – and I see a lot in the news when they’re just minding own business.”
The sergeant was happy to accept Juan’s prayer.
So, the young man laid his hand on Tucker’s shoulder and began to pray. The moment was so moving that his wife Justine made sure to snap a photo with her phone.
Justine later posted it on Facebook saying:
“Tonight was a night that I will never forget. This picture is a reminder of God’s constant love and perfect timing. Tonight we had an amazing encounter with an incredible young man named Juan. He came up to Cameron and asked is he could pray over him and his protection. After crying my eyes out we got to have an amazing conversation with this gentleman. He was on FIRE for God and you could feel His presence in the room.”
The picture quickly went viral and has been shared more than 25 thousand times on social media in just over a week. Both the Tuckers and Juan were completely shocked by the outcome.
The encounter meant a great deal to Tucker who expressed his appreciation during his interview with WESH 2 News.
“I couldn’t be more thankful that he stopped by that day and kind of gave me a recharge with not only the public but my faith as well.”
Although the two were strangers, they had some things in common they realized. Not only did they share a faith in God, but Juan and Sgt. Tucker have similar church friends as well.
It’s a story that’s warming people’s hearts, especially in today’s world where there’s a lot of negativity everywhere you look. It also helps prove that a little bit of love, faith, and kindness can go a long way.
“It really does give an opportunity to shine light and show that God is there for us, you know.”
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