"It is an inward journey with outward manifestations. It means being myself.
It means knowing myself.
It means loving myself." (page 105)
The Liberation of Sophia is the journey of liberation narrated by David Hayward through drawings of his inner self, a young woman named Sophia. Besides each drawing, David narrates the journey of liberation chronologically.
David Hayward, or the nakedpastor, is equal parts edgy and endearing. There are drawings of his that provoke me on a sunny afternoon and other drawings that smoothly accompany my morning cup of coffee. I stumbled upon him sometime during a season of my life where I was entertaining quite a bit of doubt. David is a pioneer in creating community for people who entertain doubt... and hurt because of doubt. Although his own story is about liberation from church leadership and "all that entailed," he remains a pastoral force. Early on in Sophia's story, he says, “I'm going to be a pioneer. I'll do it alone if I must. But I'd love some company.” As part of his liberation, and what first drew me to his online presence, David created TheLastingSupper. TheLastingSupper is an online community that cultivates relationship for people who want to be spiritually independent and free. At his core, he is pastor and protector of a flock.
I've been following the Sophia series of drawings as they have unfurled. I have this one hanging in my study; it's called “Crouch.” The first thing I did when the book arrived was look for “my print.” I read the story beside "my picture" and it wasn't the meaning that I had given it. The story of liberation is universal but not universally the same. The drawings and the story are tethered by our own experiences, which David makes sure to encourage along the way.
My journey of liberation is told through these pictures but not in the same order as David's journey. The story that I would have put beside my picture was found later in the book, beside a drawing called “Wisdom.”
I chose to read the story until my heart said stop. Looking back, there were obvious breaking points, markers along the journey: exposure, shame, confusion, waiting, gratitude, longing and transformation. I enjoyed reading and resting with Sophia.
I have decided to maintain two copies of this book on my shelf - one to keep and one to gift.