This humongous roll of wrapping paper was at least twice this size in 2007 when we first received it. Today I spent 1.5 hours rolling paper off of it into smaller rolls. I rolled off 30 pounds of paper and it still looked like I didn't touch it. After all these years and all the boxes wrapped, the circumference still measures 19 inches. This is really the "gift that keeps on giving" but here's how it started--
All Wrapped Up—2007
A few weeks ago I was eyeballing our paper supply. Hmm—I’ll bet we’re going to run out of wrapping paper pretty soon I thought. It looked like we had about 40 rolls left. That sounds like a lot, but there’s not much paper on each of those rolls. We can only wrap about 30 box lids from each one and now that we’re collecting up to 200 shoeboxes every week, I was concerned about not having enough. I didn’t stop to pray about the need then, but I remember thinking that it could soon become a problem.
About a week later, I got an e-mail from Elizabeth Randolph, our church Family Ministries Director who also serves on our Operation Christmas Child team. She wrote,
Steve Heitzenrater called the church office and left a message that he has access to a large roll of birthday wrapping paper that he would like to donate to the church. I figured that it really doesn’t matter what type of paper we use to wrap shoeboxes, since they are not necessarily delivered at Christmas time. So I called him today to let him know that we could use the paper. After accepting the donation, I began getting a few more details and I hope I haven’t made a mistake! It seems that he will need to call some men from his small group to help him unload it and carry it down the stairs. I didn’t realize that when the message said large, it really meant large! Sorry if I messed up on this! I guess we could also use some of it for other things too!!
I called Elizabeth to tell her I thought the donation of paper was a real blessing, since I had just noticed that we might be running out of it soon. When I got to church a few days later and saw the roll sitting under the coat rack by the back door of the church I started to laugh. The thing is three feet in diameter and I couldn’t budge it even when throwing all my weight against it. The paper itself is perfect—a black background with all types of sports balls in fluorescent colors, but how will we ever move the roll?
Two weeks later, on Easter Sunday, it was still sitting there in the same spot, flanked by the winter coats of churchgoers. Later that day when the lobby area finally stood empty, my daughter, my husband, and I all threw our weight against the mammoth roll at one time, and we still couldn’t get it to move. “I think we could wrap the whole church with this paper and still have half a roll left,” I said. We all chuckled. “Maybe I’ll just have to unwrap the paper and rewrap it onto other cardboard rolls a little at a time.”
Meanwhile it stands guard near the back door of the church as a silent monument to God’s provision for our project. On Easter Sunday alone I probably gave the explanation 15 different times to church members who wanted to know about the giant roll. “Now we know God’s answering our prayers for Operation Christmas Child before we even pray them,” I told each of them. “I noticed that our wrapping paper supplies were getting low and look what He sent us.”
When it comes to meeting our needs, there’s no doubt about it—God has it all wrapped up.