Poems of Lament
by Sarah Suzanne Noble
During a season of intense suffering, Sarah wrote, painted, planted and did whatever she could to seek God’s face and cultivate beauty for ashes. The poems she wrote to express the cries of her heart are offered here in the hopes of providing language to others who suffer.
As a young wife and mother of two small children, Sarah underwent two back surgeries in five years, recovered from PPD, wrestled with insomnia, and recovered from concussions and other injuries. Her laments, like the psalms of David, honestly express feelings, questions, and desires to God.
Organized into four categories–Pain, Beauty, Christ, and Wonder–the plaintive but hope-filled free verse covers the spectrum of admiration, praise, confession and supplication, as well as lament. The text is interspersed with Sarah’s original, evocative paintings and photos.
This collection breathes worship. It will offer comfort to others who find themselves in a difficult place of waiting for answers, for relief, and for miracles.
Sarah Suzanne Noble—poet, photographer, and artist/designer—lives and creates in Chicago, Illinois.
She graduated with her Masters in Architecture from Ball State University in 2008. She practiced architecture and design for several years. The poems in this book, her first volume of poetry, were inspired by Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts, Timothy Keller’s Reflections on the Psalms, and Oswald Chambers’s Daily Devotions. Sarah and her husband, Jonny, attend, and are serving as deacons at, Park Community Church in Chicago, Illinois. They are involved in several ministries, including marriage mentoring and crisis support. The Nobles have two children, Ruthie (5) and Jacob (3). Connect with Sarah online:
I CRY UNTO YOU, O LORD
Paperback, 140 pgs, 5.5″ x 8.5″
PRAISE FOR I Cry Unto You:
“Sarah gives voice to the rawness and reality of life that so many of us feel yet are not able to express.” –Jackson Crum, head pastor Park Community Church
“Sarah has written a wonderful book of poetry, enhanced by her paintings and photographs.As a pastoral counselor, I can’t wait to commend her book to the many people who are suffering and struggling to give words to their physical and emotional pain. I wish I had access to her book at the times in my life when I was struggling with my own emotional pain. The poetry is raw and real and yet infused with hope, beauty and faith.” –Dr. Bill Meier, Pastoral Counselor and Professor.
“[Sarah’s poetry] is fully incarnated in concrete imagery. I like the transparency of feeling. …The words and lines flow beautifully.” –Leland Ryken, English Professor, Wheaton College
“[These poems] reflect the lament, transparency and hope of the Psalms.” –Donna Crum, Global Team Park Community Church
“In our own seasons of suffering, words to explain the pain, to cry out to God, or to get a grip on our Faith are often hard to come by. We tend to throw our brains into neutral—not wanting to admit our inadequacies before God or anyone else. I CRY UNTO YOU, O LORD is the answer to help give words to our own reality. In our dark days, Sarah’s paintings, photography, and hopeful words of comfort add color and life to our souls. Above all else is the peace found when we acknowledge “That He’s been there all along–and we dwell secure.” –Elaine Wright Colvin, WIN
INTERVIEW WITH SARAH:
Cladach: Sarah, as a talented person you wear many hats. We’d love to hear a brief summary of your work as an artist, an architectural designer, an illustrator, and a poet.
Sarah: I grew up a country girl, raised on a farm in northern Indiana. I can still picture the sun setting on the wheat, the fireflies rising from the grass. My bare toes and fingers often explored apple trees, straw bales, and soft kittens. Now I live in an urban jungle, atop my neighbors Now I explore—with my shoes on—alleys, community gardens, and gelato shops.
Cladach: What have you learned from this change of lifestyle/environment?
Sarah: That God is with us wherever go, whether that be rural, urban or foreign! As C.S. Lewis says so sharply in Letters to Malcolm: “Gratitude exclaims… ‘How good of God to give me this.’ Adoration says, ‘What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!’ One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.” l love sunbeams, they are present everywhere, continually reminding me to look up at the source, my God and my King.
SAMPLE POEMS FROM I CRY UNTO YOU, O LORD :
Surrounded by frozen vegetables,
burritos, gel pads, freezer packs,
these things mountains
and my weak inflamed body the valley.
I cry out to you, Lord. No answer.
When will this suffering stop?
Like a caterpillar I grovel on the ground;
could this be my rest?
A cocoon, transformation
from this lowly body.
In this life healing, joy, change?
Will I float from lightness?
Will I be bright as a flower,
ornamented as my wedding day?
So many questions, no answers;
I am not in control, nor do I understand.
This I know: you are a good Father
who works in all things for my good.
You will replace mourning with laughter,
sackcloth with a robe.
I do so feel it has been the year of burlap;
pain upon strain, toil, tears in soil,
hope, pain, hope; a cycle of suffering,
months of mockery in my head….
~Sarah Suzanne Noble ©2019
TEARS OF DEW
Drip, drop, drip, drop
salt water to the earth;
how will seeds grow from tears?
How does mourning cease?
Each morning and each night
dew drops on my pillow.
Paths of pain run down my face.
Is there another way, oh Lord?
Downpours of healing;
My body (mentally) kneeling.
Fortified faith, forgiving family.
Eyes peering through rain,
not the sting of salt on skin,
a fight for my body weighed down.
My eyes stare at cracks in the ceiling.
Waiting, Lord, waiting for healing,
saltwater waves fill most of the earth.
Please let me taste the fruit
from flowing rivers, bubbling brooks.
Water from melons, drops from clouds,
divine appeal before evening meal,
sprouts protected from freeze.
Blossoms blow in the breeze.
~Sarah Suzanne Noble ©2019