Episode #07 Section 2
A Still Small Voice
Aleechea Pitts is a police chaplain. In this episode she tells us about her path to finding her personal identity in serving others and praising God through writing self-help books, giving workshops, singing, playing music and preaching the gospel of Christ. Her path has been illuminated by a figurative voice that guides her everyday decision-making and provides her life with peace and fulfillment.
William: As you know, this show is all about personal identity. It's good to look for examples out there of the kinds of personality you want for yourself, the kinds of things you want to keep you busy. It must be really nice to have that guidance. How much of your path do you choose for yourself? You said there is a still small voice that guides you. But does it take any difficult decision-making on your own part?
Aleechea: Well, and I have to keep going back to this, William, because I'm a Christian. Okay so with me being a Christian, my relationship with God is what helps me to make those hard decisions. There is a scripture in the Bible that says, "If you acknowledge God and everything that you do he will direct your path." And so that's what helps me to make those hard decisions. When I come in contact with the hard decision I begin to inquire of God as to what I need to do. And besides praying I also look at Scripture as well. And that's what helps me in my hard decision making.
William: Right, yeah. Can you give us an example of what it's like to feel that spirit, that voice? Because I think this is what a lot of people would like more of in their life, but they don't quite know how to.
Aleechea: Well, I think it's... One thing that you have to do: you almost kind of gotta like quiet your spirit down, kind of like shut out all the outside noise. A lot of times, and I'm guilty of it you know, we'll get in the car, first thing most people do they turn on the radio, you know. It's almost like people are uncomfortable with it just being quiet.
Aleechea: And so sometimes you just kind of, in a sense you have to just still away. And sometimes it's not all about much talking but just meditation. Meditation. The scripture talks about that a lot. And so just getting to a quiet place, kind of like quieting your spirit. And then for my process, you know, I'll pray to God, and then I listen. Because a lot of times people will kind of like get what they need to get off their chest. But they never wait for God to say anything. They never wait for God to say anything. And I always say: think about this, just like me and you. We are having this discourse. And if I'm constantly talking, right, and I'm not giving you a chance to intercept, you're gonna be feeling some kind of way about it, like in a sense that you may feel as though "Oh, she's trying to make this all about her", and that she doesn't take into account, or she doesn't really care about what I think, or say. And so, it's the same way when we come before God. Yes, you can say what you need to say. But then you need to wait to see if he will say anything to you. And that's my process. And a lot of times for me, and I only can talk about my own experience, God deals with me a lot in dreams. So there are times when I could like, for instance, if I come in contact with people and they really want to try to get a connection in my life, I'll pray and I say, "God, if this person is not for me, you show me, or you tell me." That's the most simplistic prayer that I pray. And if you don't show me anything, I know this individual is good. But if he does, then I know I need to take heed to that warning.
William: Wow, yeah. That's amazing. I personally believe myself that that kind of communication is possible. It's just special when it does happen. So for me it's not an everyday occurrence.
Aleechea: No, it's not every everyday occurrence. Actually I've only heard God speak to me once audibly. Okay and it basically just called my name. And I'll share this quick story: I had just started working at a job. Matter of fact I just got hired. And I thought I had set my alarm, or whatever. But I heard someone call my name, and I know it was nobody but the Lord, because I was the only one in the house. And he said my name is clear as day: Aleechea. And I woke up, and I called my mom. I said, "Mom", I said, "God didn't want me to be late to work today, because I sure would have overslept. Because I thought I had set the alarm clock. That alarm never went off. But I heard my name being called as clear as day." No one in the house. And that was my audible experience. And then, like I say the other times, it's either he speaks to me through the scripture, the Bible, or he'll give me an unction. He'll give me something in my spirit to say, "This is the way that you need to go."
William: I heard it said once that if you want to reach God, pray. If you want him to speak to you, read in the scriptures.
Aleechea: Yes, yes.
William: So those are some of the common channels that we have. Let's see. Can you give us some examples of your service in the local community, whether it's in prisons or through church? What kind of groups can you go to to have an impact on people?
Aleechea: Well, as I said earlier, I work with the police department as... I am the first Afro-American female police chaplain for the Millville Police Department. Now if you know anything about Millville, New Jersey, they were known for Klu Klux Klan meetings and rallies and different things of that nature. That's number one. But one of my services to the police officers: I go to their police briefings. I do ride-alongs also. And basically, what I do is, I'm just there to avail myself to them. I'm not there to push religion on them. I'm not there to convert them in any kind of way. I'm just simply there, making myself available. We have a terminology in chaplaincy that's called Ministry of presence. Sometimes saying nothing means everything. Just you being there. It's kind of like sometimes you can, you know, when you want to go talk to someone, sometimes you're not, you know, you don't want any advice; you just want someone to listen to you. And God gave me this message, and he said, "Many people listen to respond than listening to understand." And the example that I always give is if me and you are talking and, say for instance, in the middle of my thought process, as I'm conveying it to you, you may interrupt me and say, "Oh yeah, like such and such," and I may say to you, "Wait a minute. That's not what I'm saying. Listen to what I'm saying." And so, when we really listen to understand, then we're able to give the proper response. Like I tell people, "If I'm talking to you and you're in your mind already trying to conjure up what you're going to come back to me with, you're not listening to understand. You're listening to respond." And so if I really listen to understand then I'm able to give you the proper response. As a matter of fact, if I'm really listening to understand what you tell me, I can use that information to help serve you.
William: Yeah, that's true. If I am a bit distracted and not properly listening to you right now it's mainly because of the technical stuff around me not being as reliable as I had hoped. No, but I'm having fun in this conversation. Another title I found of you on your homepage is a "psalmist". Now what does that mean?
Aleechea: Just a singer. That terminology is really used like in churches. But one of the singers that I really admire, she works with the gospel music workshop of America. There was a Reverend James Cleveland who was very known for gospel music. He was a pianist. And so this gospel music workshop of America, it is a big organization. All different kind of gospel groups come together. They have conventions and different things of this nature. And one day she said to me, "You are a true psalmist." And she said, "What I mean by that is you make a song your own." So even if I sing someone else's song I don't have to sing exactly how this person presented it or how they sung it. I make it my own. And that's what a true psalmist is, is making that song their own thing, their owning it, you know. They've had their own unique character to it, you know.
William: You interpret it to express what you feel yourself, right?
William: Yeah, that's a good point for not just music but also literature. How do you manage to interpret say the Bible? Since it can be pretty confusing, and different people have pretty different interpretations. How do you get from it that inspiration that you were mentioning?
Aleechea: Well, again, I have to go to scripture, and I'm glad you allow me to do this because what I tell people: "Yes, Aleechea is human. Yes, Aleechea is a reverend. But you also have to remember, Aleechea is a Christian." So that is a part of who I am. Let me share this before I answer your question: There was a friend of mine, and she said she wanted to talk to me. She said, "But I don't want to talk to the pastor. I'm gonna talk to Aleechea. Okay? And so I broke that down to her and said, "Well, you got to remember: Even if I take the pastor part and put that aside, your friend is still a Christian. So I'm still gonna give you the same answer because as a Christian I'm living according to biblical principles." And so after the spiel of course she was like, "You know what? You're absolutely right." I woulda gave her the same answer. So with that being said, how I interpret in regards to my literature and everything: There's a scripture that says, "Study to show yourself approved unto God, not being ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." And the only way you can really rightly divide what the Bible says, it has to be, number one, God-inspired. You need the Holy Spirit which is a guide a guider to you, it is a counselor to you. And then even sometimes you may have to ask God for the interpretation, simply praying. The scripture says that, "If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, and God will give it to this man liberally." So sometimes it's just a matter of asking, "Okay, I'm not understanding what this says. Can you give me, can you open up my eyes of understanding so I'm able to grasp what is being... what you're trying to convey to me?" And that's pretty much... and I believe for myself: as a young child, and my mom could tell you, no one had to tell me what the Bible meant. I was able to understand it, and I believe that is a gift of revelation, knowledge. Some people have it, some people don't. But I had it at an early age, where my mom didn't have to explain to me, "Okay. This is what this means." I knew it, so I know that it was a gift. It was a gift from God. Now keep in mind I am a 4th generation preacher. So I have preachers, I mean this is how I tell people: I was practically near born at the altar. So it's been instilled, and it's been engrafted in me.
William: Wow, yeah. That's special. Because there is so much to gain from the Bible. But it can be cryptic for a lot of people.
Aleechea: And William, let me make this disclaimer: I don't understand everything that's in there, you know. And some things God, he... the scripture even says, "He leaves things to a mystery." Because the truth of the matter is: I don't care, you could be the Pope of the Pope. There's always something in your life that you can work on. There's always something that you can learn. When you stop learning you stop living. And as a matter of fact the Bible says, he said, "We are ever learning and coming into the knowledge of the truth." So we should always have a teachable spirit to be able to learn. And if you get to that point where you can't learn from someone, then you're in a bad place, and you're in trouble.
William: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
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