new Sophia “light”

sophia light painting by nakedpastor david hayward
Sophia “Light” (watercolor on paper, 8″x10″)

ANNOUNCEMENT: All my Sophia originals are drastically reduced until Christmas! CLICK HERE.

Well, it has been an interesting two and a half years since leaving the church. Let me tell you about it in a nutshell:

In May 2009 I dreamed about a waterfall in which I saw that all things are One. I knew the unity of all things. It totally transformed my brain. An immediate and lasting peace came to my mind, and all my theological, philosophical, intellectual, as well as my existential, spiritual anxiety came to an abrupt end. It died and I came alive. It was so revolutionary that my body hasn’t caught up with that revelation yet. It resists. But not for long.

This launched a series of external traumas in my life: leaving the ministry, leaving the church, losing friends and losing touch with some family, and losing my stability in ways I cannot go into here. In other words, I experienced a series of losses and a series of agonies. And I inflicted some.

As soon as I left the church, my art that was normally serene, minimalistic and moody landscapes, suddenly changed direction and I found myself drawing, with pen and pencil, a young woman. At first I didn’t understand it. It was a radical departure. But when I was drawing one called “Cave”, I suddenly realized I was drawing the journey of my own Self. I decided to call her Sophia.

Sophia, manifested as a young woman, is the journey of my Self from bondage to liberation and my attempt to be courageous and be spiritually independent. It’s my journey out of the confines and into unlimited freedom.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a lot of time meditating on all that has happened to me. I realized the importance of my inner revolution and that it was time to order this body accordingly. It was around this time, interestingly, that I lost all inspiration to draw Sophia. I now desire to paint again, and I’ve done some new ones. I’ve concluded: Sophia has finished her journey. As in I have finished mine.

So this image “Light” is a sign that she is… I am… I have… entered the Light. I am in the Light. Completely. And it is so bright that you can’t see her. Me. Individually. Distinctly. All is One.

There is one more drawing. My wife Lisa and my daughter Casile insist there is one more to be done. They both say it is full of color… a burst of energy, life and light. Being. They are right. There is one more to draw.

Thanks for loving Sophia and her journey. Me and mine. You and yours.

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  • Richard Boyer

    That experiences of oness happen to me also.
    It happen in a church I told my friend HEY WE ARE ONE He did not understand and me neither All my life I was presented all kinds of christian doctrines but I could not agree on any of them. They were division and I knew i was one I am more intuative person than s scholar. The oness is very intimateplace with yourself and I am still trying and resting and trying and resting I am now meditating on my love my peace and my joy Because Christ said that’s were our kingdon was. Real deep very deep inside in us. I still want to go back into that experience of oness but I must admit its a wave sometimes I feel very connected and sometime my minds says your not a all. well thats my journey.
    Thank you for yours

  • Pat

    David – I’ve really enjoyed watching Sophia’s story unfold though I’ve never (as I recall anyway) offered comment – until now. And now I find myself drawn out at last! So…I really like this as an end point (or at any rate as a penultimate!) – and so, so, so much more than ‘metamorphosis’ …which was probably my least favourite Sophia, despite all the plaudits it garnered. I thought your imagery there put Sophia back into assorted bonds which seemed to sit very uncomfortably with all that had gone on the journey before. But here, she seems to have reached a point which does justice to the processes of her becoming. Thank you.

  • Gary

    David, I feel as if Sophia will always be a part of my life now. She has helped me greatly simply by displaying the courage to walk the path wherever it leads. I know now ours is a common journey.

    Peace on your journey brother.

  • I’m so happy it finally looks like Sophia has eaten a decent meal! Some of your earlier drawings… oh, she was so painfully thin. Malnourished. And now? She looks healthy. I’m sure this wasn’t a conscious thing at all, but it’s a very evident sign of health.

    Peace 🙂

  • Thanks everyone. I appreciate your responses.

  • Ang

    I am thankful that you shared Sophia’s journey with us. And I am excited for you (and Sophia) that you have arrived at this place in your Journey. But, selfishly, I am a little sadI I will miss knowing that Sophia will be coming into our life in the future. I am honored that I have a couple original Sophia’s.

  • Thanks Ang. Who knows… I may draw more of her in the future, but only when inspired to do so. We are sad here too. Strange how my journey needed artistic expression. But that’s the way I work.

  • Carol

    David, you have described the spiritual pilgrimage of so many of us so beautifully.

    We are living on the edge of a quantum leap forward in human consciousness. It is not so much about WHAT we believe; but HOW we think.

    It began in the 60’s with the “turning East” of the hippie movement. Unfortuately, without the mystery of the Cross, most “New Age” people either fell into despair or gave up and joined the corporate consumerist culture [if you can’t beat ’em; join ’em] when their vision was not immediately realized.

    I worked for a priest who told me that the Church was usually about 100 years behind our secular culture. In the Bible Belt, it is more like 200 years; but even there “Evolutionary Christianity” is having an affect within the ecclesiastical subculture. Evangelicals are beginning to speak of and teach the “Big Story.” It is not just the story of the historical Jesus; but of the Cosmic Christ.

    Secular humanists talk of the “Shift” or of a “Copernican Revolution” in human consciousness. The Cosmic Christ is the Savior of the world; not just the Church.

    There seems to be about three kinds of believers in the ecclesiatical subculture:
    1. Those who have made the shift in consciousness.
    2. Those who are making the shift.
    3. Those who still see themselves as wholly separated from [and usually not just outside, but above] the web of life.

    Actually, The Shift is not the end; but is rather just the beginning of a new life in the Spirit.

    Mature Islamic mystics teach that the Jihad is not to be fought against one’s external enemies; but within against one’s own narcissistic false self.

    “Religion is at its best when it makes us ask hard questions of ourselves. It is at its worst when it deludes us into thinking we have all the answers for everybody else. A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.” –Archibald Macleish

  • Tana

    What Gary said. And my deepest gratitude. I’m excited to see your final Sophia if this is indeed not it. But if it is – its perfect.

  • Sarah G

    Thanks for showing us Sophia. She’s beautiful, brave and good — and her journey has helped me, too.

  • Congratulations David

  • Kris

    OMG I love Sophia! This is beautiful…it’s scary, intriguing, exciting, and freeing.

  • Allan Reeve

    Congratulations David on the passage thru that dark cave and persisting til you re-birthed into the place of light!

    Your journey has been an encouragement to share my own passage/transformation with whoever can hear/see/feel and step into the chaos and adventure.

    Keep going! Looking forward to the next manifestation…

  • I have loved your journey. I have been inspired by Sophia. I will not miss her because I see her in the eyes of so many of the people around me.



  • Karin


    I would like to thank you for sharing Sophia’s and your own journey with us. It has been such a privilege.


  • Thanks Karin. It’s been special for me too.