Tommy reached the lowest point in his life. All was lost. He was tired, hungry, and exhausted. He walked for miles without seeing a car. He began to wonder if this is how it would all end.
He stumbled his way to a rock on the roadside and rested on it.
“Tommy,” a voice of an old man gently said from behind him.
Tommy ignored it.
“That’s okay, Tommy,” the voice said. “You don’t have to turn around. It is best you don’t see me.”
Tommy straightened his posture.
The voice continued gently. “I have seen your struggle, Tommy. I’m saddened. My heart aches for you. Will you allow me to help you?”
“Who are you?” Tommy said.
“It makes little difference who I am,” the voice said. “The important thing is that I can help you. Without my help you will perish.”
“How can you be certain?” Tommy said.
“I can see into the future; your death will be slow and painful.”
“I don’t want to die,” Tommy said.
“And neither do I want you to. That is why I’m here. I am compassionate.”
“How can you help?” Tommy said.
“In every way.”
“Give me an example,” Tommy said.
“I can bring help. I can make water flow from the desert. The rock you are sitting on, I can transform into a banquet table full of food, drink, and a pot of gold at each chair. What say you, Tommy.? What is it you would like?”
“The later,” Tommy said.
“A wise choice, but first there is something I must ask in return.”
“What is it? Tommy said.
“I will take away one of your senses.”
“What would life be without one of my senses,” Tommy said. “I need time to think it over.”
“But, Tommy, you don’t have time.”
“I can’t think,” Tommy said.
“Allow me to help you. For the sense you choose to have taken away I will double another. What is you choice?”
“You haven’t much time. Tommy.”
“Take away my sense of humor and double my sense awareness,” Tommy said.
“I was referring to your five senses of sight, smell, taste, feeling, and sound.”
“Than you don’t have the power you claim to have,” Tommy said.
“Okay, it is done.”
Tommy moved away from the rock. Indeed it transformed itself into a banquet table set for twelve. It was filled with every sort of sumptuous foods and drinks. At each place setting was a pot of gold.
“Please, stay and dine with me,” Tommy said.
Tommy sat and for the first time he saw his benefactor and savior. He was an old man with silver hair and beard. His smile was gentle and kind. He sat and began to eat with Tommy. They did not speak, but only delighted in the food and drink before them.
Suddenly the man began choking. He held one hand to his throat and with the other he beckoned Tommy for help.
Tommy smiled and began to laugh uproariously.
The old man’s face turned stern and angry. “You have retained your sense of humor you have fooled me. I am about to choke to death and you laugh! It‘s not funny”
“Exactly!” Tommy laughed hysterically. “I lost my sense of humor. I don’t know what’s funny and what’s tragic, but my sense of awareness sees the irony and prompts me to laugh. Kind of funny when you think about it, not in a humorous way – of course.”