I am currently rereading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. On the evening of the day I posted my last comment on clouds and darkness, I read this
It is at the end of Chapter 11 and it is the conversation between a runaway slave and a kindly factory owner who he had been lent to as a factory worker but for whom he no longer worked:
"Is there a God to trust in?" said George, in such a tone of bitter despair as arrested the old gentleman's words. "O, I've seen things all my life that have made me feel that there can't be a God. You Christians don't know how these things look to us. There's a God for you, but is there any for us?"
"O, now, don't—don't, my boy!" said the old man, almost sobbing as he spoke; "don't feel so! There is—there is; clouds and darkness are around about him, but righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. There's a God, George,—believe it; trust in Him, and I'm sure He'll help you. Everything will be set right,—if not in this life, in another."
The real piety and benevolence of the simple old man invested him with a temporary dignity and authority, as he spoke. George stopped his distracted walk up and down the room, stood thoughtfully a moment, and then said, quietly,
"Thank you for saying that, my good friend; I'll think of that."
It is the kind of providential coincidence that just floors a person.