Most of you will be familiar with Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women. Okay, boys, you probably aren't. But girls should be. And girls, if you haven't read it, you've missed an essential part of childhood and you need to go and read it.
Anyway, LMA was brought up by her parents, and her father was a little weird. A bit of a hippie, a bit of a communist, but he was also a preacher and a firm believer in God and Jesus. That's a little odd. (Actually, Bronson was famous at the time for a variety of reasons, including his work going to wards the ending of slavery). Anyway, LMA and her sisters had a strange upbringing, with them living on a commune where they refused to kill fruitflies (and as a result of this all nearly starved).
Anyway, LMA's father used to drive LMA and her Marmee crazy. They were the practical types who liked to provide for their families.
One time, when May (Amy in Little Women) was a baby, Beth was young and delicate, and Nan and Louisa were young, it was snowing. Anyway, a neighbour came by that day and gave them a whole lot of firewood. You know what happened. Bronson (LMA's father) then promptly turned around and gave the wood to another neighbour, who had a baby and children who were ill/delicate with Scarlet Fever (which Beth eventually died from, both the real Beth and the Little Women Beth). This didn't please Marmee, who had her own baby and delicate children. Bronson's answer was the God would provide. Marmee was not happy.
Shortly after, another neighbour came by and gave the Alcott's ANOTHER lot of firewood.
If I'd been Bronson I'd've turned round and said, "See! I'm right! Ha!" (I'm not exactly the most mature of people.) I'm sure that Bronson Alcott was more mature than me.
But it really struck me how God does provide, especially when we are generous with what he has given to us.
Incidentally, this incident does not appear in Little Women (which is from later) but appears in a biography called Invincible Louisa.