"Pie in the sky by and by," is how many Christians are characterized. We are thought, in other words, to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good, to be naïve or simple-mindedly optimistic, unable to face reality. Those critics have a point, at least in highlighting that our sights are set beyond our earthly existence. We know that this life here is not all there is and that God is working out his good plans in us and through us. But they are wrong in assessing our grasp of the human condition: we are not detached and uninvolved with others' pain and hardships or with society's issues and conflicts. God has given us the assignment and responsibility to care and to love and to make a difference in the world. And we take his commands seriously. In fact, because we are affected by our own sins and the sins of others, because we live in a fallen world, and because we want to bring healing and hope to so many desperate people, we can, ourselves, become susceptible to the negativity that surrounds us. Our challenge is to take sin seriously and to face the real world but not be overwhelmed by it. To keep our positive focus while we get our hands dirty in the messy business of helping others.