Today, we start a three-day journey with one of our leadership team members, Patricia Wu. She is currently traveling through several countries in Africa and shared some stories, pictures, and video for us to center our Lenten journey on nature. Nature has always been a source of inspiration, wonder and wisdom for me. On a recent visit to Nairobi National Park and the Maasai Mara National Preserve in Kenya, nature once again had an important reminder for me. First, I saw zebras standing shoulder to shoulder facing opposite directions and then I noticed the giraffes doing the same thing. I asked my Maasai guide why the animals stood like that. He replied that it's for security so they can watch over each other's shoulder for any sign of danger. They've literally got each other's backs! I even saw two cheetah siblings standing like that so that they could look over each other's shoulder. Perhaps in their case it wasn't so much about danger, but who could spot dinner first! Whether you're a zebra or giraffe and live in the Mara (a vast expanse of wilderness in southwest Kenya where natural predators such as lions, cheetahs and leopards roam freely) or you live in an urban jungle like Manhattan, knowing that someone has your back eases the burden of the struggles of life. Knowing that God always has my back has given me the strength and courage to face the valleys I have encountered in my life. During those trials, I have held on to God's promises that "As my days are, so shall my strength be" and that "God will turn my mourning into dancing and give me beauty for ashes." As we move from ashes to Easter, let us remember that we are not alone, and that God is with us and providing the strength and grace that we need to move forward.