BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An act of kindness in Baltimore is pulling on heartstrings across the country.
The encounter between a teenage and a homeless man has now gone viral.
WJZ’s Amy Yensi spoke to the teen and the police officer who captured the famous photo.
The police officer who took the picture says the young man in the photo deserves all the attention and praise.
“I prayed for him. I said God right now you’re using me to bless this man,” Stephen Watkins said. “Thank you for showing me this song.”
Eighteen-year-old Watkins pictured praying for a homeless man at a Baltimore bus stop.
The teen says he was listening to music on the way home from school, when a song inspired him to leave the bus and bless a complete stranger.
“I knelt right here and touched his shoe right here,” Watkins said. “he was laying right here and his head was right there.”
University of Maryland police officer Eric Gaines was out patrolling last Tuesday on Saratoga and Paca streets, when he witnessed the spiritual encounter and snapped this photo.
“I was blown away. It was amazing,” said Gaines. “You don’t see that often, especially in the young youth of Baltimore.”
Officer Gaines posted the picture on Facebook and it has since gone viral, with thousands of likes, comments and shares of the act of kindness.
People we spoke to who saw the picture say it’s both inspiring and moving.
“I didn’t really believe it at first, but now that I really see it, year, we need to come together as a family,” said one woman.
“I think it was great for him to do that, to take time and pray for a man because the man actually needs help,” Marvin Edwards said.
Steven and his twin brother Stephan preach in the streets all the time.
The teen is still getting used to the attention and says he’s focused on his faith.
“It don’t want no glory because it was all for Him,” said the Friendship Academy at Engineering and Technology student.
Officer Gaines said he hopes the picture inspires other acts of kindness across the city and gives the world a positive view of Baltimore.
After praying for nearly 10 minutes, he still managed to catch up with the original bus and make it home. He says it was a heavenly sign, that he did the right thing.