In most cases, criminals try to avoid encounters with the law enforcement, for the obvious reason that a run-in could lead to an arrest and even time in jail. Why risk getting into more trouble? But in one unusual and very special circumstance, a former convict went in the opposite direction, going toward an arresting officer, but not for reasons one might assume.

Edward “Doc” Amey grew up selling drugs in Texas and was certainly no stranger to law enforcement. Doc had been to prison several times prior to 2015 for various and serious charges, including felonies and misdemeanors. One particular arrest, on a gun charge, led to a fateful encounter with one particular officer, Salvador Chapa. Doc’s experience with Chapa would change his life forever.

Prison has a way of changing people, and while serving his sentence, Doc changed by turning to his faith as a source of positive change. Upon his release from prison, Doc was a different man, as Officer Chapa would soon discover.

Doc happened to see Office Chapa on patrol one day in Texas City, Texas. Doc was with a friend, Kevin, when he saw Chapa and Kevin was shocked at what transpired. Kevin took a photo of this fateful encounter, shocked by the powerful moment he had witnessed: Doc and Officer Chapa joining hands in prayer.

“I turned around and saw him praying,” said Kevin, in awe of what he’d seen. “It was an amazing moment to witness.”

Doc shared that God had recently worked through him to pray for police officers.

“I arrested him several years ago on a drug charge and because of that he ended up doing some time,” said Chapa.

“You’re used to seeing cops getting killed by young black men or young black men being killed by cops,” said Doc. “You’re not used to seeing an ex-con and a cop praying with each other.”

The photo of Doc and Officer Chapa was shared on social media and soon went viral. As a result, this moment of reconciliation encouraged others to join together in unexpected ways.

Heartfelt and uplifting comments were posted in reaction to the moment captured in this image:

“That’s why God asks us to always pray for each other…only God can change the heart and we have the proof right here that it work[s].”

“I wish this man nothing but the best in the future.”

“It doesn’t happen often but it is always great to see people overcome their past and rise above it.”

A moment like this is proof of our own ability to change, and how one moment of redemption and forgiveness can become an example of positive change for everyone.