In the early morning hours of January 1st, 2018, a miracle was brewing in Kentonville, Arkansas at the home of Marine veteran Harvey Garrelston. A small electrical fire had been sparked in the basement, probably the handywork of a field mouse seeking refuge from the freezing temperatures.
That small fire may have fizzled had Garrelston not been an avid collector of TV Guide. Fourteen stacks went up in flames in minutes, taking down the Field and Stream stacks along the way. The whole house was ablaze.
Luckily, the Garrelston’s Chihuahua, Mr. Tiny Pants, woke up and sensed the danger, making sure all of the people and pets were safely outside within minutes. The family stood in shock as their entire home and all of its contents went up in smoke.
Harvey told local reporters from News 7 that he was devastated:
“We lost everything. Insurance will cover the new stuff, but I’ll never see my lunchboxes or my TV Guides again. The stamps. The entire original set of Transformers and all the accessories still in the box. Series 1 and 2. Gone. Superman #1. Batman #2. $40K in cash. Those are the things you can’t replace.”
Then there was a rumble from inside the house. The firemen, who were calmly putting out what was left smoldering on the ground, said it sounded like “thunder from the Heavens.” Then suddenly, they were thrown back by a bright flash and from the only piece of the second floor came rolling onto the pile of debris in the yard…the Garrelston’s gun safe.
Mrs. Garrelston told Vanity Fair:
“As soon as the flash came I knew God was telling us it would be OK. Then to see that safe? My Kitchenaid mixer and the 2 new attachments I got for Christmas were in that house but now it all just feels like…it’s gonna be OK.”
There is a lot more to that story. That gun safe didn’t just have a personalized weapon designed for each member of the family to be prepared for the day the Trumpet sounds; it held a very special piece of history. Mr Garrelston explains:
“I own the musket that fired the first shot of the US Revolution. It’s the most important weapon in human history. It’s also priceless. God tested us with the loss of the things we desire but made sure we had what we need.”
Garrelston is the ancestor of Jebidiah Armstrong, the man who stood next to Samuel Adams at the Battle of Lexington. Adams credited Armstrong with having the courage to fire the first shot, beating his British counterpart by “mere seconds.” Armstrong then took his trusted Musket to Concord where he was declared a hero and given the first Purple Heart by General Washington.
God shone down on Jebidiah Armstrong on the day our country was truly founded, July 4th 1776, and he gave it to his great, great, great great grandson, Harvey and his beautiful family.
The Garrelstons are staying with the pastor and his family at the local church rectory where they are “welcome to live until God sets their path.”
He truly does love America most.