Last week, like most of the country, we had a big old snowstorm in Ohio. But, as we are used to these kinds of things in Ohio, it wasn’t a big deal. Not so in Texas,  however, where any kind of cold weather is a big deal, and a storm with snow and ice is, as we have seen, an event of apocalyptic proportions.

For grocery delivery driver Chelsea Timmons, a day on the job got real hazardous real quick as she made deliveries in the Austin, Texas area.

Approaching the home of clients Doug Condon and Nina Richardson in her Toyota Rav4, she began sliding out of control down their driveway. 

Timmons, who lives three hours away in Houston, drives to Austin to do grocery deliveries because the market there pays more.

So not only did she find herself in the midst of unprecedented travel conditions, she was now far from home while careening toward someone else’s in her vehicle with no way to stop.

“My heart just dropped as I just slid right towards their house and I just closed my eyes and just prayed that I did not hit these people’s home, that I did not damage my car. I just knew—definitely knew—if I hit their home, that was my tip,” she told CNN.

Fortunately, Timmons only hit a flower bed. Even more fortunately, the house she almost crashed into belonged to some really kind people. Homeowners Condon and Richardson invited Timmons, a complete stranger, into their home during a pandemic—they wouldn’t hear of her waiting for a tow truck in the cold. Then, when AAA finally said, “Yeah, we can’t get a tow truck there, sorry,” they invited her to share their Valentine’s Day dinner (the groceries she’d delivered being the main course). Then, they invited her to stay the night . . . and to keep staying until it was safe to leave. 

All in all, Timmons stayed with the couple for five whole days before she could finally get her car out of their driveway and head back home to Houston. 

“As soon as we found out that AAA couldn’t come and the conditions were getting worse, it seemed silly to even imagine that she would go to a hotel,” Richardson said. “It didn’t even occur to us.”

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Though Timmons suggested many times she should look for a hotel room, the couple wouldn’t hear of it. They worried about what she would eat and if she could even make it there. They had a spare bedroom, power, water, and food—why should she go anywhere else? Soon, Timmons got more comfortable and, wanting to pull her weight, helped with meal preparation and even baked the couple a coconut cake as a thank you. 

“I am so grateful that they were not only able but willing to let a complete stranger into their home in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of a storm . . . with no hesitation,” Timmons said. “They just opened their doors, opened their home and said, ‘Come in and relax.'”

Friends, in a country where many friends and families are now divided over politics, this story brings me hope.

Condon and Richardson invited Timmons, a stranded stranger, into their home, and I bet you they didn’t even ask her who she voted for before they did! They saw another human in need and gladly shared what they had with her in a perilous time. We should all take a page from their book.

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When I heard their story, I said, “More of this, please. THIS is the story we need right now!” And it’s got me thinking: Maybe I should start looking at people I disagree with as if they were complete strangers in need of help and just LOVE them instead of critiquing them. Color me convicted. 

She was a stranger in need, and they took her in. What a blessing! I’m so thankful I heard this story, and I pray I have the opportunity to put its lessons into action myself.

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Jenny Rapson

Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.

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