— -- Last week, Eric Gaines, a police officer for the University of Maryland, Baltimore, shared a powerful message on Facebook after witnessing a young boy praying over a homeless man Tuesday afternoon in downtown Baltimore.
Gaines, who was patrolling the area, told ABC News he saw people patting the man down and he thought the boy was going to do the same. But then he watched the boy bend down and pray over the man as he slept near a bus stop.
“It was a powerful moment,” Gaines told ABC News. “Everyone who saw him in the area was moved.”
Gaines said he believes the boy, who appeared to be 15 or 16, did this on his own because he “almost missed his bus while he was praying for the guy, which confirmed that he did it for no other reason than to pray for him.”
Gaines said that he was glad the photo went viral because “people have preconceived notion of young men.” He added, “Not all are lost. Some are doing wonderful things in the neighborhood and community and it’s not getting the same publicity in the media.”
Since March 1, when the photo was originally posted, it has been shared on Facebook more than 30,000 times.