Riding the South

The blog of Scott and Jenny Morris

Camel fits through

needle’s eye

​Oct. 4, 2015

By Scott Morris

It requires faith to believe in miracles, to believe the laws of physics can bend to a higher power.

 Did a series of plagues really descend upon Egypt at the hand of God? Did a heavenly voice really come from the burning bush? Did the Red Sea really part before the staff of Moses?

 Being trapped and then freed from the restroom stall at church has reaffirmed my belief in miracles.

 This story of divine deliverance began on a Sunday afternoon when I arrived a little early for a church committee meeting and stopped off at the men’s room. When I tried to leave, the lock on the restroom stall broke, leaving me trapped on the wrong side of the door.

 I tried to turn the handle gently. I jiggled it. I shook it.


 “Great!” I thought, trying to remain calm.

 The options didn’t look good.

 I gazed up at the top of the stall, which loomed over me like the peak of Mount Ararat. I glanced down at the floor and noted it offered precious little clearance. I studied my cellphone and wondered if this dilemma justified a call to 911.

 The good Lord blessed me with the body of a lumbering ox. It is a body best suited for cutting firewood and plowing cornfields, not climbing over or crawling through tight spaces.

 Accepting the laws of gravity and dimension, there was only one thing to do.


 I grabbed the door and shook it violently. I put my shoulder into it and tried to force it open.

 In my claustrophobic state, a call to 911 was looking better and better.

 But did I really want the firefighters back at Station 3 laughing their heads off at my expense? Did I want to risk some nosy news reporter discovering my rescue in the fire reports and making me famous? Did I want to be known around church as the guy who had to be liberated from the men’s room?

 So, I peered down at the tiny space between the bottom of the stall and the floor, and made a mental measurement. It looked impossible, but I was determined to escape with dignity still intact.

 So I prayed that, for just this once, a camel could pass through the eye of a needle.

 Then I contorted my extra-large self into an uncomfortable position on my back between the extra-small confines of the porcelain tank, the restroom walls and the legs of the stall. I carefully started inching under the stall door, head first, like an automobile mechanic creeping out from under a car.

 Then, with my torso about halfway out, I had a terrible thought.

 What if someone walks into the restroom and sees me on the floor, face up, emerging from the stall?

 Does the gentleman step over me and nonchalantly proceed to his business? Does he leave discreetly, deciding he really didn’t need to go after all? Does he jump back and shout, “Have mercy!”

 And what is the social protocol for a person lying on his back on the restroom floor?

 Does he extend the hand of Christian fellowship and say, “Good afternoon, Brother Jones?” Does he try to explain the predicament before Brother Jones runs out to report a perv in the men’s room? Does he grab his heart and feign chest pangs?

 Fortunately, I breathed in my gut, wriggled my way out and jumped to my feet before anyone else could see me.

 Then I brushed myself off, looked into the mirror and searched my soul. Yes, I do believe in divine deliverance.