One line in the latest Bruce Cockburn keeps reverberating around my brain 'I did not love her - but it's different when it comes to you' - obviously the whole premise of the song.
It got me to thinking how many times we can fall in love in life - and how we can remain faithful to our partner through all of the feelings that go alongside that.
I have a friend who I go out for a drink for once a week or so, and on a few occasions we have got around to talking about whether there was a great love in our life who we didn't stick with and whether they were 'the one who got away'. In fact at one time the subject came up a few times over the course of a couple of weeks, I think because of a meeting with an old flame on his part which had got the cogs whirring and the 'what if..' machine that most of us seem to have in our brains sprung into action.
I know, though, that far from his days as 'Jack the lad' in London in the 70s this man has stayed faithful to his wife since the day they made their vows. I didn't have any sexual partners apart from my wife when we married, and haven't since I hasten to add - though I did have a number of romantic involvements before marriage and probably (without me realising as i am pretty unaware of these things) could have since...
I believe completely that people can remain faithful to one person, whether they choose to marry or not - but this viewpoint seems to put me out of touch with a variety of current day thinkers! I don't think it is just because of my Christian understanding of the world, but because i have a faith in fidelity too! It does impact upon my understanding of Christian Pilgrimage, because i think the idea of God as faithful can be mirrored in a loving committed relationship - but its because I see those who have weathered storms and come out the other side still committed to one another and i see the richness in that relationship and value of their lives together. It says something not to the romantic in me, but to the pragmatist, as i see lives made fuller by this.
I'm sure, by implication, it says something about the life of Faith with God, but i will leave you to draw your own meaning from that.