Among all the evils of this world that have befallen us, one evil, worse than all the others, we foolishly call upon ourselves. They have been dividing us from all sides, they have been partitioning and breaking our national being into pieces, and to our greater misfortune we ourselves have jumped on that bandwagon and are on our own dividing ourselves and deepening the chasm. To our misfortune, we can now be into those “from this side of Drina” and “the other side of Drina”, “from this side of Sava” and “the other side of Sava”; from this side of the stream and from the other side of the stream, from under the hill and from over the hill. And let me not name all the lures and divides that we can still be caught on in our misfortune.
We are truly unique people. During times of misfortune people get closer and turn to one another, but in our case it seems we are just looking to divide ourselves further and crumble away. We point fingers at each other and we try to put blame everywhere for what has befallen us. We are counting the uncountable, measuring the unmeasurable. And then we say that we were helped but that we could have been helped more, that we were welcomed but that we could have been welcomed better, and so on.
From the earliest history we have had many divisions and dissensions. Now we face them more than ever and we constantly multiply them and count them. We yet only need these latest provincial, village and hamlet divisions so that our worst foes can sleep peacefully. It is with our own divisions and breaking into pieces we have done their job much better than they could have, in all their evil, even wished for.
This past, and thank God deceased, “Church” division, as they have cunningly called it, and all other our divisions, have the same father in non-love and the unfaithful. As long as we had the same God above our heads, and in our prayers we have called Him our Father and have called for Him, and as long we had the same saints, we could be among ourselves brothers. Nonbelievers, “national” and “international”, and no matter how they called themselves, have sowed the seeds of all our misfortunes that are even till our days bearing bitter and tartly fruits. By killing God in people, they have killed brotherly love and have turned a brother against brother and son against the father, and tribe against tribe. Only the non-believing and demonic spirit could have the idea, even in these days, to divide us and classify us into “bigger“ Serbians and “lesser” Serbians; into “true”, “national” and others; into Bosnians and Serbians and in this vein all the way to the last village hamlet of who knows what district. And if we accept these divisions and we trench ourselves into their trenches, better for them, since we will never turn towards them and start asking them questions.
In order for us to survive, we need to return to our roots, to our old and blessed feeling of brotherhood and belonging to one broad and widely branched Serbian tree.
I have spent my childhood growing up next the shore of Drina. Even as a child, climbing the Majevica hills with the sheep, I was looking at Serbia, till my sight would reach, as to the holiest sanctity. Going into Serbia, we would cross Drina on rafts, and would step onto its soil with the awe as if we were entering a temple. I have lost quite a bit, and many of my hopes I have misplaced along the way, but that love and admiration for Mother Serbia, I still keep in myself as a dear sanctity. The church of the monastery in which I have grown up, is from one of its side all covered in the monuments of our joint battles and mutual support of brothers from both sides of Drina. Blind – but far seeing – gousle-player Filip Visnjic, prophesizing about the freedom of Serbia, sings about freedom of all Serbians. At the end of his poem “The Beginning of the Revolt against the Dahias”, he brings The Grand Vozd onto the banks of muddy and impetuous Drina and trough him talks that even when Serbia is freed the job is not finished till the last piece of Serbian land is freed.
“Then when George the Serbian Land had mastered,
And all Serbia with the Cross had christened,
All the country with his wing protected
West from Vidin to the Drina Water,
North from Kosovo as far as Belgrade,
Thus spoke George to the Drina Water:
“Drina water, O thou noble barrier,
Thou that partest Bosnia from Serbia!
Soon the day will dawn, O Drina water,
Soon will dawn the day when I shall cross thee,
Pass through all the noble land of Bosnia.”
Neither the poet nor the Grand Vozd could have imagined that the time could come when no one other but the brothers themselves would build boarders and would charge tolls to one another. Impetuous Drina has never been deeper than today!
This is not good.
Our wise people have made a story about a dying father, who on his death bed requested his sons so that he may say his final goodbye and to tell them his will. He asked each son to bring him a stick. The old father intertwined all their sticks and gave each son a turn to try to break them. None of them were successful. He then separated the sticks and easily broke each one of them. The point of the story is obvious. This is God’s wisdom from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (37, 15-17). God ordered him to join two sticks from two divided tribes of Israel and in that way to show them that only together and in unity they can survive.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133: 1) points King David. He compares this brotherly unity with God’s biggest blessing. Where brothers are together, there “the Lord commanded the blessing – Life forevermore” (Psalm 133: 3). Wise Solomon reduces David’s wisdom to the most practical terms, and says “You are better off having a friend than being all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble. If you sleep alone, you won’t have anyone to keep you warm on a cold night. Someone might be able to beat up one of you but not both of you. As the saying goes, “A rope made from three trends of cord is hard to break”” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12)
If for no other reason, and if never before, now when the entire world has befallen us, we have to, as the people, intertwine our strengths in order to defend ourselves. If never before, at least today, we need to throw away, from ancient and miserable times dug out and rusted, war axes in order to remove the razor-sharp sable from the neck of our people.
And thus, we should not even in the conversations and leisure fall for the lures that are offered to us and divide ourselves. Like the apostles did, I plead with you my brothers “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1. Corinthians 1: 10).
“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God” (1. Peter 2: 17).