In renewing the Ruka fellowhip this year (2014-2015), we have decided to also renew the tradition of the “Be-intentional Buddies”. Each week, four of us will break up into pairs and commit to spend one-on-one time with our buddy, maybe through taking a walk or going to a coffee shop — any activity that allows us to learn more about each other’s lives. The unpaired member will have the opportunity to use more time that week for meditation or quiet reflection.
“In a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before all the rest. Sometimes she wonders what she is doing there among her betters. She is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together, each bringing ]out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others. Those are the golden sessions; when four or five [or six in my case] of us after a hard day’s walking have come to our inn; when our slippers are on, our feet spread towards the blaze and our drinks at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world opens itself to our minds as we talk; and no one has any claim on or any responsibility for another, but all are free women and equals as if we had first met an hour ago, while at the same time an Affection mellowed by the years enfolds us. Life–natural life–has no better gift to give. who could have deserved it?” -From C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves pg. 71-72
Coming to Rhodes as Freshmen, Maggie, Sarah, Shelby, Catherine and Jami lived on the same hall in Williford and had frequent visits from their friend, Leigh DeVries. Together we adventured on late night roadtrips, sang hymns beneath the stars, visited monasteries, embarked upon long car-rides to Oklahoma, jammed in common rooms and courtyards, survived frequent all-night study-athons, experienced tragedy and joy, and learned how to love one another.
As seniors, we reunite in a community (not unlike our freshmen housing) but we come intentionally, to remind ourselves that life together is difficult but rewarding, painful but necessary. Community is a gift. We welcome this opportunity to engage together in a life that pushes us to develop into the women that we desire to be, we seek to evaluate who we will become as people, rather than simply what we plan to do as a job. Life in community reveals to us our own limitations, and “It is only then that we feel how closely our own lives are bound up with [each others’] and in fact how the center of our own lives is outside of ourselves” (Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
In order to be intentional with each other (who we have already been blessed to love) we have a system known as the “Be-intentional Buddies.” Each member is paired with one other member bi-weekly and commits to intentional one on one time to better know and understand her buddy.