Viral photo shows trooper praying for couple mourning death of loved one

A touching photo shows a trooper praying for a couple he pulled over after learning they were grieving. 

(Meredith) -- A traffic stop in Texas ended on a heartwarming note when a state trooper decided to pray for the couple he pulled over. 

Lanell James said she and her husband were traveling to Dallas on Sunday after a death in their family. While driving through Madisonville, Trooper Ross Bates pulled them over for a non-speeding violation. 

James, a middle school teacher, said the trooper asked them where they were going. When she told him that her husband's brother had died, the trooper responded with a comforting message. 

"He said, 'Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Do you know where he is?' My husband answered, 'Yes, at the morgue,'" James wrote on Facebook. "The officer responded, 'No, he is now in his heavenly home.'"

"At this point, my husband and I are both moved to tears because his brother's death was very unexpected," she continued. 

After giving the couple a warning, Trooper Bates asked if he could pray with them. On Tuesday, James posted a photo of that touching moment to Facebook -- and it quickly went viral. 

"I have NEVER had this happen before, but it was everything that we needed in that moment. Thank you so much, Trooper Bates, for praying with us!" she wrote. 

In a statement to KHOU, Trooper Bates said he is thankful that he had a positive impact on the couple. Read his full statement below: 

While I was on patrol on Sunday, I met a family in need. They were mourning the unexpected loss of a loved one, and I am humbled that my actions had a positive impact on their lives during this difficult time. As a State Trooper, I’ve met many people who have shared their stories with me. Often, I don’t hear about the impact I’ve had on them. I am truly humbled by the kind words of Mrs. James, and I will always be grateful that our brief interaction had a positive impact on their family.

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