The Cross and the Machine

Paul Kingsnorth

Source: First Things

June 2021


… I had known, I suppose, that the abyss was still there inside me—that what I was doing in the woods [with the Wiccan coven], though affecting, was at some level still play-acting. Then, one night, I dreamed of Jesus. The dream was vivid, and when I woke up I wrote down what I had heard him say, and I drew what he had looked like. The crux of the matter was that he was to be the next step on my spiritual path. I didn’t believe that or want it to be true. But the image and the message reminded me of something strange that had happened a few months before. My wife and I were out to dinner, celebrating our wedding anniversary, when suddenly she said to me, “You’re going to become a Christian.” When I asked her what on earth she was talking about, she said she didn’t know; she had just had a feeling and needed to tell me. My wife has a preternatural sensitivity that she always denies, and it wasn’t the first time she had done something like this. It shook me. A Christian? Me? What could be weirder?

After the dream, it began to make sense. Suddenly, I started meeting Christians everywhere… It kept happening, for months. Christ to the left of me, Christ to the right. It was unnerving. I turned away again and again, but every time I looked back, he was still there. I began to feel I was being . . . hunted? I wanted it to stop; at least, I thought I did. I had no interest in Christianity. I was a witch! A Zen witch, in fact, which I thought sounded pretty damned edgy. But I knew who was after me, and I knew it wasn’t over.

Read the rest at First Things.

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Paul Kingsnorth


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