Concert guitarist challenges CBU audience to ‘cross the street, give the world hope’
RIVERSIDE (Feb. 7, 2014)--Christian Thomas Lee, a concert classical guitarist and art collector, stood before a group of California Baptist University students, faculty and staff Feb. 6 and talked about his bouts of severe depression.
“There are times in my life when I have been driven to my knees [because] the weight of depression was so great,” he said, “It is in those dark, lonely moments of my life that I hear a still, small, quiet voice say to me ‘my grace is sufficient for you.’”
Lee played a classical selection for the audience and spoke about what it means to live a life of purpose, using the lives of artists and composers as examples. Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Michelangelo all were “fragile, fractured and flawed,” Lee said. Most people would not have crossed the street to meet them, he added, yet, they were driven to use the gifts God gave them.
The performance was one of three Lee is performing this week for CBU audiences.
“I’m not a Christian artist,” he said. “I’m an artist who is a Christian. Why? Because I want to put Christianity back in our culture.”
Lee interjected his talk with a display of art, including works by Pablo Picasso, Peter Carl Faberge, Giovanni Battista Pasqualini and others. He explained that he visits schools to expose students to the arts, and he receives hundreds of letters a year from them as a result.
“This letter is why I do what I do today,” he said, reading from one of them: “‘Mr. Lee, I didn’t know I was an artist until you came to my school and showed me. You changed my life.’”
He told students they are attending CBU so that they can give hope to a world that has no hope.
“If you choose to cross the street, not only will you change the life of the person you encounter, you’ll change your own life, too,” he said.
Lee challenged them to live the purpose God intended for them.
“What is God calling you to do?” he asked. “Go do it, no matter the cost. The world is just waiting for you to cross the street.”