Shortly before Christmas of 1991, I asked him the single most important question I would ever ask anybody: “Will you give me the hand of your daughter in marriage?”
Thankfully, Ken said…yes, he would. And so, with his blessing, I got down on one knee before Diane Therese Fenske on Christmas Eve. (She said yes, too.)
Diane’s dad, Ken Fenske, went home to heaven on Friday of last week.
He was one of the kindest and gentlest men I have ever come to know. Others-centered, positive, affable…and most importantly, a believer in Jesus. Diane, her mom and her sister Laurie spent a good deal of time writing a most thoughtful obituary. Read it here. And I’ll have more to say on Saturday.
Diane, the Fisher of Men
But one of the things that struck me as Ken was dying…was in fact about Diane. She was the first in her family to come to know Jesus, and eventually the entire Fenske clan (Dad; mom – Barb; sister – Laurie; and brother – Greg) would be Christ-followers.
The story goes that Diane invited her dad to an “Evidence that demands a verdict” conference with Josh McDowell not long after she herself had become a Christian. Ken had always been interested in spiritual things, but had never understood true Christianity. He accepted the invitation to the conference…and there said yes to the free gift of salvation offered in the gospel. Ken was never the same. Because that’s what Jesus does.
And by the way, if you’ve seen me around town or in church, in the good providence of God, our sabbatical in Florida turned into Sabbatical, part 1, and after two weeks here in the deep freeze, Sabbatical part 2 begins this coming Sunday as we head south again. The first three weeks were wonderful, FYI, filled with three B’s I love: books, bikes and beaches. But part 1 was missing the D I love even more – Diane, and I’m VERY GLAD she will be coming along for the last 8 weeks!
In all that is happening, we appreciate your prayers. But we have a hope that those outside of Christ can only dream of (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We will see our beloved Ken again.
I’m so thankful he said yes.