"It was everything that we needed in that moment."
Texas DPS
Credit: Facebook/Texas Department of Public Safety - Southeast Texas Region

When Lanell McGee James and her husband Lamar found out that his younger brother died unexpectedly over the weekend, the couple immediately got in the car to mourn with family.

"As we were traveling to Dallas on Sunday, going through Madisonville on 45, I was pulled over by a State Trooper for a non-speeding violation," Lanell James, a middle school teacher from Conroe, Texas, explained in a now-viral Facebook post (below).

Now, if you think you know where this story is going, think again.

When the Trooper approached the car, he asked Lanell where they were headed. She explained that they were going to Dallas because her husband’s brother had died suddenly.

“He said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, do you know where he is?’” Lanell recalled. “My husband answered, ‘yes at the morgue’ and the officer responded, ‘no he is now in his heavenly home.’”

At this point, she said that both she and Lamar were moved to tears “because his brother’s death was very unexpected.”

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The officer, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper Ross Bates, asked for Lanell’s license and returned to his vehicle.

What happened when he came back can only be described as humanity at its finest.

After giving them a warning, Bates “removed his hat asked to hold our hands and he prayed with us. I have NEVER had this happen before, but it was everything that we needed in that moment,” Lanell wrote alongside a photo of the moving moment. “Thank you so much Trooper Bates for praying with us!”

Lanell’s post quickly went viral. Bates, a 16-year veteran of the force who recently became an ordained Christian deacon, commented on the reaction to the story via a statement issued by DPS.

“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,” Bates said. “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.”

We’re not crying, you are!