It dawned on me this morning that my heart is very spongy.

This Lenten journey, for me, has been about looking at the places of anger in my heart and it has not really been fun.  I feel like over the last few years I’ve become more critical, less trusting, and less willing to give grace.  I want to believe the best in people, but I don’t.  I want to rejoice when they rejoice, but I struggle.  I want them to have the freedom to be themselves, but I find in me a criticalness that wants to control  them.  I am usually a pretty hopeful person, but I find myself wrestling with bouts of extreme grumpiness.

As I read Psalm 50, 69 and 70 this morning, the recurring theme that jumped out at me is to continually give thanks to Lord.  “Let God be magnified”….”I will praise the name of God with song” – phrases like this seem to weave in and out of the painful petitions and hurts recounted in these psalms.  And I was convicted of my lack of singing songs of praise or even rejoicing and being glad.  Then I wondered why…and this is what God seemed to say.

He told me that my heart is spongy.  And then He gave me this picture of a drop of blue dye falling onto a paper towel.  Of course, the dye stains the spot it hits, but because of the properties of the paper towel, the dye continues to saturate it and soak in.  This, He seemed to be telling me, is my anger.  It falls upon my heart and doesn’t just affect that one area, but seeps into other corners and crevices until it stains all areas.

So I find myself grumpy or distrustful or even angry when there is no reason to be.  Anger has permeated my heart, touches many other areas and darkens my world so I cannot sing God’s praises or be truly loving to others.

And the answer?  Well…I’d like to wring out my heart and tell it to quit being spongy, but I don’t think that is even an option.  So I think as I repent and acknowledge these areas, as I choose forgiveness, the Spirit comes and drops His life into me and into places of anger.  As I sing His praise in the midst of pain, then my spongy heart absorbs the Spirit’s coloring into all those other corners and cracks.  I am colored once again, but this time by Him.  And my spongy heart works for me, not against me.