All That We Have Been, All That We Will Become

In a trick of photography, nine people "float" in a chain, led by a red balloon.

All that we have been separately
and all that we will become together
is stretched out before and behind us
like stars scattered across a canvas of sky.
We stand at the precipice, arms locked
together like tandem skydivers
working up the courage to jump.

Tell me, friends:
What have we got to lose?
Our fear of failure?
Our mistrust of our own talents?

What have we got to lose?
A poverty of the spirit?
The lie that we are alone?

What wonders await us in the space
between the first leap
and the moment our feet, our wheels
however we move our bodies
across this precious earth
touch down softly on unknown soil?
What have we got to lose
that we can’t replace with some
previously unimaginable joy?

Blessed are you, Spirit of Life
who has sustained us, enlivened us
and enabled us to reach this moment.*
Give us courage in our leaping,
and gratitude in our landing.
And share with us in the joy of a long
and fruitful ministry together.

*This sentence is an adaptation of a Hebrew prayer called the shecheheyanu. In Leslie's words, "It's a blessing for anytime you do something you haven't done in a long time or you're doing something for the first time—or when doing "annual" events that you should feel blessed for having lived to see come around the wheel of the year again. Or: for when you survive a close call. Or when you are about to do something adventurous."

About the Author

Leslie Ahuvah Fails

Rev. Leslie Ahuvah Fails (she/her/hers) is the pastor of the UU Fellowship of Fairbanks, Alaska, and has also served as a hospital chaplain. She writes with brevity on Twitter (@RevLeslieAF) and at length on Medium (

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