Kay Warren, the wife of Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, tells her own very personal story in Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God.

The title of her book, Dangerous Surrender, accurately describes of her message. Surrender implies defeat, failure, capitulating, especially to our Western ears, but giving up our rights and plans, in deference to God’s purposes for our lives is what Kay calls surrender.

The dangerous part comes because our physical safety may be in jeopardy, but also because our emotional well-being will be “gloriously ruined” (as Kay calls it) forever. “There will always be a ‘before AIDS’ and ‘after AIDS’ classification for me,” Kay explains. Being ruined to the life you knew before you where in direct contact with hurting people, means more than being disturbed by the statistics and reports of suffering. It requires doing something! Willingly, unreservedly, and deliberately, choosing to take on the pain of others, suffering with them requires self-sacrifice, obedience to Jesus, and surrender.

Kay sees the solution to the AIDS crisis in the church. No other organization on earth is bigger than Christ’s church. Churches are a part of a grassroots networking system, more effective than any bureaucracy. What other institution has the power of Almighty God associated with it? The challenge to all of us who share with Christ in the sufferings of others is found in Kay’s answer to the inevitable question of why anyone should put their faith in the ordinary, flawed “losers” who makeup the church: “Because,” she says, “God does.”

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