Do you have to squeeze to fit in?

"Squeeze In" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Squeeze In” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


This cartoon appears in my new book Questions Are The Answer: nakedpastor and the search for understanding. In this book I tell my story of how I tried, for my whole life, to fit into the church. Finally, in 2010, I left the ministry and stopped being a regular member of the church. I still visit. But just visit. Occasionally.

Is this your experience?

Some insist conformity is necessary for church to work. I don’t agree.

I’ve experienced it in local congregations. And I’m experiencing it now online. In my online community The Lasting Supper, there’s a wide diversity of people with differing beliefs… an amazing cacophony of nonconformists I’ve ever met. But we get along great. It is possible.

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7 Responses

  1. Adam Julians says:

    Yes and no.

    Yes in that there are some situations where my needs and wants and affirmation of my true self are sacrificed for greater good. At other times I am free to be fully who I am.

    In any community, out of consideration for others I know to adapt it’s not all about me and there is need for sensitivity to the environment.

    I don’t always get what I want. And that’s OK.

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: I wonder about what you wrote… because I would have written very similar a few years ago.

    I now lean towards ‘my needs and wants and affirmation of my true self’ being non-negotiable, but spread among several communities. In that way, I never have a true sacrifice for the greater good – it is just a temporary suspension.

    For example, aren’t you getting some of your ‘needs/wants/affirmation’ from your comedy club?

    And, for my example, I get a lot of my needs/wants/affirmation from TLS, but some other affirmation of my worth as a parent seems to come best when my children and grandchildren drive 1.5 hours to visit us.

    While I realize 1.5 hours driving (with kids in the back seat) is a huge investment for my children…. I feel so thrilled that they would make that investment just to say ‘hi’ and pick some pumpkins from our garden. Their visit is an affirmation of my ‘worth’ that I never got from a church visit, pastoral visit (because he only came when he needed to interrogate me… lol).

  3. Gary says:

    Do I have to squeeze to fit in?

    Not any more. 😉

  4. Adam Julians says:


    I hear what you are saying about tls and your children. Yes, you are right with what you say about comedy. Dancing is another one as is skiing, meditation, my church involvement now I am in a position where I have high autonomy and one or two close friends. I am blessed.

    What I am talking about when it comes to sacrifice, what was on my mind was honouring my father’s memory by putting my needs, my wants aside and reigning in my tongue for the sake of his memory when spreading his ashes and not being part of any conflict in the family.

    I think my commenting here is evidence of not being afraid of disapproval.

    Thanks I perceive that your comment comes from a place of concern and given what I have shared, I understand why you wrote what you did. I do have a vulnerability to getting ducked in to relationships and communities that are not healthy for me. But I think I am more able now than before to be able to figure out when that is happening and doing something about it.

    Sometimes you can’t do anything to change a situation but all you can do is apologise if you have done something wrong (even if you know fine well you have done nothing wrong and you have been mistreated) and walk away?

  5. I would’ve done the same thing as you did Adam at the spreading of your dad’s ashes.

  6. Adam Julians says:

    Thanks for that affirmation David.