This morning, while listening to our local public radio station, I happened to catch this piece of data: one of the things that determines whether or not you will be happy at work, is, surprisingly, not the type of work, but the fact that you have a best friend at work. In one way, this is surprising, given all the talk on the importance of "meaningful work" in our lives. In another way, this is not so surprising, given the deeper need we have for meaningful relationships.

In past blogs, I've talked about 2 types of love: giving-love (which we often connect with God) and receiving-love (which I've tried to show is actually supremely Godlike). But there's a third type of love that  rounds out the multi-directional aspects of love. This is "making" or creating-love." Creating-love is what happens when you aren't only the giver, or only the receiver, but you are involved in a relationship where the giving and receiving flows back and forth and the result is that something new is made. Love as co-creating.

This creating-love shows up in many situations: the love of two friends who go on a camping trip and forge an experience, or sit around drinking coffee and discover a new insight; the love of an artist with their medium who with the give and take of the material they're working with fashion a painting, dance, song or new cuisine. (Interestingly enough, writers discuss how writing is often co-creative. Some characters just show up, and then they take unexpected turns which the author is obliged to follow.) There is also the love of a husband and wife who join their lives together to establish a home and out of their love-making conceive children, creating a family to fill that home.

The first thing we learn about the God of the Bible is that he is a making God. Hebrew scriptures start "in the beginning" and in the beginning God creates. Christians affirm that God creates out of nothing - at least to begin with. But once something is made, God speaks to what is and woos more from what is there. I love the passages that describe the sea and the earth joining in the creative process - "Let the earth bring forth!" God says. "Let the sea bring forth". And they, and God, together do.

It's the joy that comes from working together that brings the happiness that the researcher was describing in the blurb I mentioned above. And it's this joy of creating together that God also desires with his creation. More on future blogs.

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