A recent presentation by Ben Glenn, also known as The Chalkguy, drew about 175 students and youth group leaders to Western Christian High School’s event center. They were there to see Glenn create live art while talking about living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Glenn does between 50 to 75 speaking engagements each year. He lives with a diagnosis of dyslexia and ADHD. When an individual education plan was created to help Glenn with his diagnoses, he was required to take two years of art or music. Glenn chose art and was hooked. He also became good friends with fellow chalk artist Bill Leach, who asked Glenn to take over his ministry.
“At the end of the day it is my simple desire to be an inspiration to those who attend my event. I've recognized that everyone is at different places in their journey, and it is my hope any time I speak that God would make my message relevant to where people are at. That when people leave my presentation they feel like they had an opportunity to learn more about themselves and to be inspired by the plan God has for their life,” said Glenn.
Randy Hilbelink, a youth leader at Calvary CRC in Orange City, Iowa, attended this event because some youth group members had heard Glenn speak at Rocky Mountain High, a Reformed Church of America youth retreat held every three years in Colorado. He hoped that students would be challenged to “accept and celebrate how God made them” and that they become aware of Christ and his impact in their lives as well as the impact of their leaders.
Aysha DeGroot, who attends the youth group at Hope CRC in Hull, Iowa, said she left the talk feeling inspired. “Sometimes it is easy to view people on things they can't do. It is easy to put them into a box of ‘can't,’ but God only sees us for what we can do. He sees the weaknesses as opportunities for us to grow and strengthen ourselves through him. After seeing Ben[’s] communication and artistic skills, I saw him not for his ADHD, but for the wonderful gifts God has given to him. I don't think anyone left that building thinking, ‘Ben has ADHD.’ They left saying, ‘God is working through that man in so many ways.’ His setbacks may be different than mine, and he may be in a different ‘can't’ box than I am, but God saw his flaws and is using them in such big ways to further his kingdom.”