Astyn’s Garden is located beside the Behavioral Sciences Building on the northeast side of Lubbock Christian University campus. Dr. Michael Hardin, Chair of Behavioral Sciences and an Associate Professor at LCU, credits Charley Wasson, former CEO of Hospice of Lubbock, with being very instrumental in the establishment of the memorial garden.
"The idea for this project started in May 2012, and Charley Wasson at Hospice of Lubbock took it on as his personal project," Hardin said. "Charley is the one who raised the support for it. He is the one who was really responsible for raising the funds."
Renamed in honor of Astyn Qubty in 2016, the recent garden updates were graciously funded by Dr. Johnny and Diane Qubty to honor their daughter. This sacred space provides families from the South Plains a place to come together in memory of their lost loved ones, and it features a mural by local artist and LCU alumnus, Cliff Wilke. The idea for creating a mural in the garden came from LCU student and Psychology major, Maddie (Reaves ‘16) Hettick. In October 2017, Maddie received the inaugural LCU Heart of Service Award for her leadership and efforts in this project.
The garden is a quiet place for meditation. Just as we pass from one period of life to another, visitors symbolically leave the world behind as they pass through the garden’s gate into a space of quiet solitude. Inside the memorial, they can walk a looped meditation path and look at the rocks placed in honor of those who have passed on.
"Compassionate Friends of Lubbock," an organization that supports families after the death of children, has a chapter that meets monthly in the LCU Behavioral Sciences Building. Visitors are welcome. The meetings are held at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of every month in Room 110. For more information, contact chapter leader, Isabel Espinoza, at 806-218-2397 or TCFLubbock@gmail.com. You may also visit their website at compassionatefriendslubbock.org.
For information about ordering a rock for the garden, contact LaLani Carter at LaLani.Carter@LCU.edu.
In this image the young girl is assisting a monarch caterpillar onto a page from the Bible she is reading because both the girl and monarch are aware that this world can only "offer" to give us things, but fail to keep their promise. With that in mind they both seem to anticipate the rustling pages of the New Testament and realize the hope found within them. The wind has picked up and is beginning to carry away these rustling pages. There are other caterpillars in the leaves of the tree in this image. The leaves of this tree are shaped like book pages (which will be a theme throughout the 3 walls).
In this scene the young girl is carefully inspecting a small monarch chrysalis attached to a milkweed plant. As the scene progresses to the right the milkweed leaves become "pages" and start to fly away, carrying with them even more monarch chrysalises. This scene highlights the full-fledged rustling of the pages of the New Testament. The chrysalis is a symbol of the caterpillar starting to find it's way to the right side of the door. He has begun to "put on glory". The wind carries the pages and chrysalises to the next scene.
Here we find the young girl assisting a monarch into the pond where other monarchs have found their way to be "united with beauty, to pass into it" and to "bathe in it". The only way they made it to this point is because they were once on the wrong side of the door as caterpillars. Their obvious transformation has brought them true glory.