“Each word drew another line between me and the past.” —Jennifer Lee Worth
Jennifer Lee served London’s East End as a nurse and midwife in the mid-1950s through to the mid-1970s. She married and left that life behind her, changing careers to become a piano teacher for the London College of Music. Many years later, now Jennifer Lee Worth, she wrote several book that told the story of those heroic women who served the people of that impoverished East London community. Jennifer Lee drew a line between herself and her past in the words she chose for her books. In doing so, I see a border raised between her past and the new self that emerged.
As with all who invest themselves in people’s lives, taking part in their joys and their tragedies, at some point we need a to put boundaries between our past, should we choice to move on, and our future. Failure to do so, places us in a present in which the the tragedies of the past can prevent joys of the future. Even the joys of the past aren’t enough to balance out those tragedies we have experienced.
For Mrs. Worth, writing became a way, though many years later, to put to rest the horrors experienced. Perhaps in so doing, she was able to feel the joy that those tragedies tried to erase.
Apostle Paul wrote something that seems to show he thought the same way:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
—Philippians 3:13- 16