With every project, the focus is almost always on creating a design as quickly and effectively as possible to save time and money and to get the business running quickly. We enjoy when a project gives us the opportunity to be creative with our work, and working efficiently provides time for that creativity.
The fountain at Lubbock Christian University was one of these projects. It will always be a special place for us, because it was the first project we designed together as WCA Design Studio. We have written a bit about our process in designing the project and sharing it with LCU, but we would like to point out some of the symbolic elements in this project as well.
Elements of the LCU Fountain: The Rock That is Higher
Rocks have an important symbolism in the Christian faith. Often, they are used as a way to point to God and Christ.
Exodus 17:6 (KJV), “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
In the Old Testament, when Moses struck the rock and the waters came from it, God was showing His people that the Rock (Himself) would be a source of living waters. In the fountain at LCU, we created a rock that was split open, to serve both as the fountain’s source of water and a representation of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross that led to eternal life.
The Rock was placed higher than others in the fountain, pointing to a beloved verse in the Psalm, “From the end of the earth I will cry unto Thee when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 KJV
Elements of the LCU Fountain: The Baptismal Pool
In the Christian faith, baptism is a sacred thing. It demonstrates a soul that was once dead and has been raised to walk in new life with Christ. Baptism is a symbol of the life, death, and victorious resurrection of Christ.
The baptismal pool at LCU’s fountain is an important place. It represents the heart of the campus, both literally and figuratively. We wanted the design of the fountain and the elements of the pool to reflect this.
John 4:14 KJV, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
When the baptismal pool is full, the entrance of the minister and the convert will cause the pool to spill over onto the ground. Splashing upon those gathered around, these overflowing waters represent the effect the goodness of God within the repentant heart creates on the lives around it.
The design of the baptismal pool finds structured after the shape of Bethany Beyond the Jordan, located at the end of the Pilgrim Pathway. This is believed to be the baptismal place of Jesus.
Matthew 3:15-17 NIV, “‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”
Elements of the LCU Fountain: Pilgrim’s Pathway
Symbolism is not only found in an object. It can be found in the way a structure is built, or the shape that it is given like the arc that makes up the back of the fountain. This gentle curve serves as a major organizing element for the baptismal fountain.
The arc derives its shape from the pathway traveled by pilgrims to reach Bethany beyond the Jordan. As mentioned above, this is thought to be the place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. It is a place of great significance for believers, a deep connection to the One who died to save them.
This pathway in the Baptismal element of the fountain serves to guide the flow of water and connect the Basin of Healing to the Baptismal Pool. It is a physical guide to show that true healing and restoration comes from the Living Water found in Christ.
Elements of the LCU Fountain: The Basin of Healing
While baptism is a very public experience, salvation is a one-on-one encounter between a convert and the Savior. This encounter leads to a deep, intimate relationship. While this relationship will have public moments, it is made up of many private, intimate ones.
The arc of the Pilgrim’s Pathway connects the Basin of Healing to the Baptismal Pool. From a healing, intimate relationship with the Savior comes an abundance of Living Water. The fluidity of water between these two points shows that a relationship with Christ will move between private moments of healing to more public displays of our relationship with him.
“He said come to the water / Stand by My side / And drink from the fountain / You won’t be denied / I have seen every teardrop / That fell from your eyes / And I rose to remind you / For your tears I died.” – Marsha Stevens-Pino
It was a joy to work on this project for LCU and to think intentionally about each aspect of the fountain. We hope you will take the time to walk through the campus and enjoy the fountain, especially in light of the symbolism each element carries.