Lasagne – it should be easy to make. It usually is, until you realise you are missing one simple ingredient – lasagne sheets. I was sure there was more in the cupboard and it was too late to go to the shops.

The night of the lasagne disaster was a typical one in our household. Tony was studying, while the children were doing homework and watching T.V. My eldest daughter was helping me cook, it was to be a great cooking lesson with Mum.

When the missing lasagne sheets discovery was made, there was no other choice. We had to do the best we could with the four small sheets that were left in the box, but it was no good. No matter which way we tried to arrange the mince and white sauce on the plate, it lacked solidarity. It was a splodge! A mess, with nothing to hold it up! A soupy splat on the plate! We just couldn’t hide the fact that something was missing.

“Mum! What is this?” came the shocked cry of my food-critic teenage son.

Trying to stifle my giggles, I proudly replied, “this is lasagne son.”

“‘No, it’s not! It is not worthy of that name,” he joked.

“Then, we shall call it ‘white sauce and mince slop’,” I replied, to which we all broke out in laughter and then awkwardly ate the meal.

As I looked at this splat of formless lasagne on my plate, the old quote, ‘If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything’ came to mind and we were able to turn the lasagne disaster into more than a cooking lesson, it became a life lesson.

What my lasagne was missing was some ‘backbone’ (metaphorically speaking of course).

You see, there are a lot of voices in the world vying for our attention. I guess the question is, do you know what you believe? Does your backbone keep you strong and sure-footed?

Ephesians 4 verse 14 says, ‘Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching…’


When I think of people with backbone, the Bible is full of heroes who stood for what they believed in even when it hurt. Take for instance: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who survived the fiery furnace; Daniel who survived the lion’s den; Queen Esther who put her life on the line to save her people, and the list goes on.

Other heroes of the faith that come to mind are: William Wilberforce (1759-1833) – leader of the movement to abolish slavery; Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) – campaigned against slavery; William Booth (1829-1912) – founder of the Salvation Army with a heart for suffering humanity; Eglantyne Jebb (1876 – 1928) – founder of the ‘Save the Children’ foundation; Mother Teresa (1910-1997) – cared for the sick and poor of Calcutta; and Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) – anti-apartheid campaign and first African black president.

Modern day men and women with backbones, such as Tony Kirwan – Destiny Rescue and Moira Kelly’s Children First Foundation, still exist and as a result, they make a difference in the world today in the hope that the world tomorrow will be a better place to live in. These are people who see a need and can’t take one more step without doing something to make somebody else’s life better, even though it may cost them something. But while we still have millions of children being trafficked and people starving across the world, we desperately need more heroes.

“I’ve learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” -Nelson Mandela

Do you relate to that feeling that nags at your heart and pains you to do something to help someone? Be it seemingly small or on a big scale, all acts of kindness are significant, especially to those who benefit from them. So I encourage you…

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
– Joshua 1 verse 9.


First Published Christian Today Australia 31 July 2014




Last modified: October 1, 2014



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