Elsa Sichrovsky is a high school student. She and her family are engaged in missionary work in Taiwan.
My back ached from sitting so long in the small metal seat of the bus, and my face flushed from the blazing sun that beat on me through the open window. The bus jostled as it followed the dusty road through a half-deserted section of town, where drab, dilapidated houses and fields overgrown with weeds seemed to be a reflection of my life. The last few weeks had been especially stressful as some friends and I struggled to make progress on a new community volunteer project. We had been having more setbacks than successes, and that, coupled with personal problems, had brought a heavy cloud of discouragement over me.
Ben is a white-haired man whose house I pass on my errands route. He always calls out a friendly greeting, and over time we’ve become good friends. His cheerful demeanor and lively personality make him a joy for me to be around, despite our age difference.
Last spring, Ben slipped on a wet bathroom floor, fell backwards, and hit his head hard. The impact brought on a stroke that resulted in recurring dizzy spells and headaches, blurred vision, permanent damage to his left eye, and loss of stamina.
The due date for my writing assignment was fast approaching, and I was barely half done. I’d been working fast and furiously, but my mind was now too stressed to think clearly, my eyes were too strained to focus, and my shoulders were stiff from sitting hunched over my computer keyboard for so long.
I finally pulled myself away from my desk piled high with books and papers, and retreated to a nearby window for a break. As I raised my eyes to a beautiful blue, sunny sky above neighboring apartment buildings, I caught sight of a bird in graceful flight. My spirit soared with it.