Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Forgiving like Smarties by Emily Owen

A couple of weeks ago, I was back at school.
I’d been asked to go and talk to some students about writing.
So I did, and it was fun.
I talked a bit about my writing and gave the students feedback on their work.
At the end, just before the lesson finished, I gave them my top tip.
Well, it’s not really my top tip, but sometimes it’s not far off…

Sometimes, I confess, chocolate is my motivation.
I tell myself, for example, “finish this chapter,” or “write for another half hour,”
and then you can have some chocolate.
If I am being hard on myself, ‘chocolate’ maybe means two smarties.
If I am being kind, I’ll have lots of smarties.

Just before I typed this blog, I had some smarties.
(Yes, wrong way round; well spotted! Don’t tell.)
They were squashed in a small box and I couldn’t get them out easily.
So I tipped them onto my desk.

The smarties were much easier to get at then and, before long, they were gone.

This made me think about forgiveness.
Forgiving myself.
Forgiving others.
A much more appropriate topic for a Lent blog than chocolate.

Some years ago, I was in a situation where I needed to forgive.
I knew I did.
I knew I should.
Or at least, I knew I should want to.
The problem was, I didn’t want to.
My resentment became so ‘squashed in a small box’ that,
by the time I was eventually ready to try and let it out, it wouldn’t come.
Bitterness was stuck in the box that was me.
Anger took up residence.
It hurt.
But I couldn’t tip it out.
I just couldn’t.

Then God stepped in.
And gently showed me that, actually, I could.
I could tip it out.
By remembering that I didn’t have to do it on my own.

It echoes from the cross down through the ages;
‘Father, forgive them.’
A triumphant cry, because
it’s genuine.
 Forgive them.’
It echoes from the cross down through the ages.

Oh, Father of all forgiveness,
help us catch hold of that echo.
It’s love,
it’s reality,
it’s freedom.
And, in our reaching,
realise that
we don’t have to do it alone.
The strength of every echo is
it’s source.
The ability to truly forgive comes
from you.
Help us listen to your echo.
All it means.
All it stands for.
Let it resound into every situation.
Resonate in life.
May we never let your echo fade.

© 2017 Emily Owen


  1. Beautiful words, Emily. Thank you

  2. That is so uplifting and comforting ... comforting, because it is difficult to forgive at times, but great to know that it can be done through God. Beautiful poem and I like the analogy of the box of smarties. :D

    1. That's a lovely line 'great to know that it can be done through God'. Something to remember in everything, I think...