ISSUES OF FAITH: Faith in the beauty of spring

“WOW! ISN’T THAT just beautiful?” This is what I find myself saying this time of year when I see the beauty of spring here on the Peninsula.

Daffodil bunches out in the middle of a field (who planted those anyway?); cherry trees maxed out in bloom; maybe a fresh dusting of snow on Klahhane Ridge or that special chartreuse of new leaves on our big leaf maples … they all evoke some sort of a “wow” for me.

How about you?

I’m reading a book by Marilynne Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author best known for her fiction but a significant theologian in her own right.

The book is a thoughtful 230 pages of essays that “probe beautifully into the mind and heart of God,” as one reviewer comments.

Robinson writes in “Reading Genesis” that at a deep level, Genesis shares a sense of God, who for God’s own “unfathomable reasons, loves humanity and all creation.”

This central understanding of God is radically different from how other ancients in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean religions perceived their gods, she says. Those gods had little regard for humanity or anything else except their own passions and hierarchy. Greek gods’ caprice, as an example, are myths of legend. Ask Zeus if he cared a whit about meeting human needs!

To Robinson, this clear difference between the God of Abraham and the gods of other ancients is expressed in Genesis if read rightly. Quoting, “This world is suited to human enjoyment — ‘out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight’ — in anticipation of human pleasure, which the Lord presumably shares. This is an extremely elegant detail. The beauty of the trees is noted before the fact that they yield food. It is a rich goodness that the Lord intended and created for our experience.”

From this, she continues that God gave us the gifts of sight and ability to perceive that beauty.

Since we are created in the image of God, she writes that God loves beautiful things, too, and wants to share this beauty with us. In this sense, we were created to be God’s companions.

Spring beauty is a reminder of God’s love for us. My Lutheran Christian tradition emphasizes the “grace of God,” God’s free unwarranted forgiving accepting love.

I think spring beauty is a visual grace given freely, too … no strings attached.

Next time you see a rhody or rose in bloom, feel free to let loose a “WOW” of your own.

Listen carefully and you might hear a response from God, “I know. I made them beautiful for both of us to enjoy.”


Issues of Faith is a rotating column by religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. Don Corson is an Ordained Deacon in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) and the winemaker for a local winery. He is also the minister for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Forks. His email is

More in Life

A GROWING CONCERN: Do your part for ‘Flower Peninsula USA’

SO, WITH THE sun coming out and temperatures on the rise, time… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: When do we disobey?

HERE ARE TWO quotes to think about: “Civil Disobedience, noun: Refusal to… Continue reading

Unity in Olympics program scheduled

Connie Munro will present “Not Perfect, But Wonderful” at… Continue reading

Unitarian speaker scheduled

The Rev. Bruce Bode will present “The Ache of… Continue reading

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith.
Unity in Port Townsend planning for Sunday services

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith will present “The Power of… Continue reading

Katie Lee of Port Angeles examines a table of perennial plants during Saturday’s annual plant sale and raffle at the floral barn at the Clallam County Fairgrounds in Port Angeles. The sale, hosted by the Port Angeles Garden Club, was a fundraiser for club projects and scholarships, and it featured a wide variety of plants for the upcoming growing season and beyond. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Plant sale at Clallam County Fairgrounds

Katie Lee of Port Angeles examines a table of perennial plants during… Continue reading

Photo by Karen Griffiths

Cutline: A fundraiser for WAG and Open starts Today at 11 a.m. with an English and jumping fun show, followed tomorrow with a Western Games show at Kari Payne’s 4-L arena off Blue Mountain Road, 95 S. McCrorie Rd. Port Angeles.  Fox-Bell Farm owner Shelby Vaughan, and her assistants Sophie Feik and Kaia Lestage (holding Marley) will be there to host. Shown is Tatar Trots, 10. a horse Shelby got from OPEN five years ago when he was a feral, unhandled stallion and, now, after castrating and training,  he’s a docile horse who enjoys teaching kids how to ride.


(Rescue dog Rocky laying down if he’s shown in photo)
HORSEPLAY: Rescue program gives horses new life

SHELBY VAUGHAN WAS born into the rescue mindset. She grew up on… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: For garden chores, keep the spring in your step

SO THE DREAM Playground build is going wonderfully. Thank you for those… Continue reading

The 2024 Community Service Awards winners gather before Thursday's awards ceremony at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Angeles. This year's recipients were, seated from left, Steph Ellyas and Lyn Fiveash, and standing from left, Gordon Taylor, Don Zanon, Carol Labbe and Betsy Reed Schultz. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Six honored for community service efforts

Volunteers provide energy for trails, respite care

ISSUES OF FAITH: Be a gracious and hospitable host

NOTICE OUR ROAD traffic is getting busier? Yep. We are beginning our… Continue reading

The Rev. Larry Schellink will present “Love God and Tie up your Camel” at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Schellink is the guest speaker at Unity in the Olympics, 2917 E. Myrtle Ave.
Weekend program scheduled for Unity in the Olympics

The Rev. Larry Schellink will present “Love God and… Continue reading

Unitarian speaker slated in Port Angeles

Phoenix Biggs will present “Singing of Honor… Continue reading