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Tradition & Innovation

Elijah Invented Sarcasm

Elijah invented sarcasm.
Before stones and altar;
before water flowed like blood;
before hearts moved backward,
and fire rained down to
drench the waiting sacrifices –

First there was sarcasm.

Perhaps your god sleeps,
or maybe he's busy,
running a few errands,
said the Undying One.
We'll wait – and why not?
He had all the time
in the world.

Elijah is way too holy
to hide a smile behind his hand,
or wink on the sly
to all the terrified masses
assembled and cowering,
who had, after all,
backed the wrong horse,
and the wrong god
and knew not of sarcasm.

But they knew –
after the shouting and slaughter
the water and blood and fire
that streamed down like rain,
that lifted smoke and smells
to Israel's God.

They remembered,
and remembering,
returned.


Based on 1 Kings 18:1–39

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