A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bitterness and the Hope of Reconciliation

I hope I haven't painted a false picture of peace and love since coming to Croatia. While those I spoke with in Slovenia seemed to be at peace with themselves regarding the Balkan Wars, there is some bitterness here in Croatia. The war was brief in Slovenia. This is not the case in Croatia.  I have been told to expect greater bitterness as I head towards Bosnia and Serbia.
Before heading eastward towards Vukovar, I am going south. I may go into Bosnia to visit Prijedor to learn from those who are working on reconciliation in the area. The area around Prijedor was the site of ethnic cleansing during the war. If I don't go as far as Prijedor I hope to visit the village of Baćin, near Hrvatska Dubica in Croatia, where 110 civilians were murdered during the war. I don't know what I expect to find if I go there.

Meanwhile, traveling companion Inge and I are setting off from Zagreb tomorrow. Zagreb has given me a break from walking but drained me in other ways. Better to keep walking.