Real Help for Real Living

By now you’re thinking, “Hey Josh – you’re the editor of this paper. We trust you to provide good journalism. Who’s this guy from Jersey? Did you vet him? What do you know about him? You’re going to trust him to write a regular column to us.”

Okay, now hold on. I’ll admit, I’m from New Jersey, or as most people who didn’t grow up in the Garden State call it, “Joisey.” I was born just outside of New York City and flew model airplanes where the Meadowlands Sports Arena is today.

You’re still thinking, “Who is this guy.” Let me introduce myself. My name is Tony Marciano. I serve as the Executive Director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. The Mission works with homeless men and women who struggle with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. You’ll often hear me refer to being with the gorgeous blonde – that’s my wife Dot. We’ve been together for more than 30 years. Together we have three children.

Now here’s where you got the story wrong. You’re probably thinking, “isn’t that nice. They’re an empty nester couple.” Not on your life. Along with my wife, my three young adult children still live at home – Maria, Anthony and Ed. All out of college and all agreed that eating dad’s food and using his Internet service is cheaper than going out to the big scary world and having to pay for it themselves. That makes good financial sense for them. Sad part is, I can’t even claim them on my income taxes anymore.

Wait, there’s more. It’s not just the five of us. There’s a sixth person. My mother lives with us. No, it’s nothing like the TV show, “Everybody Loves Raymond.” My mother is the sweetest person. In fact, she adores my wife. My mother has threatened more times that if something happens to my wife, she’s moving out. Where is she going? I don’t know. There’s another character living with us – it’s our dog, Rocky. He is our 16-plus-year-old Pomeranian. One last person, not yet officially family, is my son Anthony’s, fiancée, Delee. My driveway is like a New York City parking garage. The neighbors just stand on their front lawn and watch us shuffle six cars on any one day.

Why do I call it “Real Help for Real Living,” It’s because life is messy but God is good. Life is unfair, but God is faithful. Life is worth living and God is in that mix. Sometimes we need some encouragement, as we live through the difficulty of life, to see God’s heart ache for the pain we are experiencing as well as to see God’s incredible love for us while we go through the storms of life. We will laugh and cry together. Hopefully I’ll challenge you with some tools so that you can live above the fray through the scripture verse that says, “ all these things we are more than conqueror through Him who loved us.”

I’m excited to be part of your weekly newspaper and part of your life.  I’ll be back real soon. Until then, live well my friend.

Rev. Tony Marciano is the Executive Director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. The Mission provides a free, 100-plus day Christian residential recovery program for men and women who are homeless or at risk of being homeless and are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.