Some months back, I visited Waipu (Northland), and, in the Presbyterian church yard, spotted the above memorial remembering those who died before birth (detail below – people have often put a name or word on the stones behind). I think it was particularly sensitively done, around a topic that too quickly (at least on the “by human choice” aspect) degenerates into heat without much light. Certainly I pray commenters here respect the spirit in which this is offered here, echoing the way it is offered in Waipu.

I do not really want to discuss fine details of the wording – how you or I would improve on it. I think they are providing a prayerful focus I have rarely seen elsewhere. In NZ miscarriages are little spoken about; the NZ abortion discussion is quiescent, in spite of having one of the Western World’s highest rates; rare would be the (nonRC) church leader who has agility in ethical theories (beyond “the Bible says” – which it often doesn’t); good luck finding any statement from an Anglican bishop or synod.

So, in the spirit of this very good memorial, I just want to offer these images. Maybe it may inspire someone, somewhere else, to create what is appropriate in your own context. And certainly may it inspire all of us to spare a prayer, and be a little more aware of what is more common than certainly we mostly talk about.

Waipu memorial plaque

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