Ever since I moved into my modest house in San Jose, California, I have been noticing strange things happening around the place.
Returning from work, I would see books on the floor, fallen from an adjacent shelf... Pieces of china strewn around the dining area... All this, when everyone in the family had been away at school or work! I could swear that they were all neatly stacked on the shelf or the sideboard, when I left home.
Out in the back yard, half-eaten apples and bananas appeared mysteriously besides the rose bushes. Coincidentally, my son had his school cut short on that day for a teachers' meeting or something. David, 10, however, swore to me that he hadn't gone anywhere near the fruit basket.
It's not just me. My wife has noticed some funny stuff, too. One day, when she returned early from her work, she heard muffled sounds emanating from the bedroom of our daughter, Mia, 15. You know, huffing and puffing, oohs and ahs. The kind of sounds that you hear at 11 p.m. from the suite next door in the hotel, when you are trying desperately to sleep after a long day.
Alarmed, she knocked on the door. Mia opened it with a questioning look on her face. When asked about the sounds, she waved it away with, "I have been watching T.V., Mom". Pressed about the exact nature of the sounds, she denied that she was not watching any porn, anger and tears swelling in her eyes.
Then, this matter of dirty pots and pans in the kitchen sink, steadily accumulating over the past four days. My wife, who had been traveling the previous week, was furious. How could I be so impervious to this filth? Do I care about anything at all besides the NBA playoffs? What sort of an example was I setting for our kids? I pleaded with her vainly, "Unless I am struck with a bout of short-term amnesia, honey, I have been diligently loading them in the dishwasher... every night, of course!"
All of us, David, Mia, Honey, and me, are totally mystified.
"Could it be the elephant hiding in the cupboard... Dad... Mom?" asked my two year old, Felix, wide eyed. Oh, yes, the elephant in the cupboard! Stupid me.
Wait a minute. If there's an elephant in the cupboard, why don't we hear it trumpet? Hm, puzzling, indeed!
Inspired by an article from the BBC Magazine, Why does God allow natural disasters?
But, as for those who believe in an all-good, all-powerful agent-God, we've seen that they face a question that remains pressing after all these centuries, and which is now horribly underscored by the horrors in Haiti. If a deity exists, why didn't he prevent this?