In my first scenario, a baby is born on this day and his father, just in the process of trying to adjust to family life with a newborn in the house, is drafted early in 1942. He goes off to war and if he survives, he might not get home again until 1946 since a significant number of troops stayed in the former battle lands as the aftermath of war and the reorganizing of the impacted countries takes time.
So, what does he find when he comes home? He finds his wife who, of course, he is excited to be reunited with, but he also finds himself meeting a daughter or son about five years of age who talks but doesn't recognize him. Couple the adjustment from the horrors of war and finding and getting accustomed to a new civilian job with the young child who initially sees him as a stranger and it's a tough situation. Remember, during war the child has probably become overly attached to his or her mother and she was likely highly protective of them with no father in the house.
The second scenario is similar, except the father dies at war and the young child grows up never having known or seen the father or at least not remembering him. The young mother is likely to remarry, but as a man I know that taking another man's children as your own is quite complex and difficult. So, in either scenario, the future requires constant work and refinement to make things work.
Why do I mention this for a blog subject? Well, just because war creates many unexpected circumstances and national leaders need to consider all aspects of what war entails before they make they commitment to warfare. Oh, yes, there are cases where war has no alternative and World War II was definitely such a situation. But as we approach Christmas of 2018, I think it's a good time to pray that national leaders of all nations can learn to solve their problems with one another in a peaceful manner when at all possible. I think the baby we celebrate who grew into the Prince of Peace, both as God and Man would heartily welcome that effort.
And to all children currently facing such a situation from recent warfare, or those now elderly adults who faced it back in the 1940's, I hope and pray that your life has been rich and that you successfully navigated all of the psychological and social impacts that such a personal situation makes unavoidable. Pray for peace on earth and good will to all men during this "Most Wonderful Time of the Year."