For the last year I have been working intermittently on a children’s picture book. I am happy to say that Charlie and Chocolate’s Purrfect Prayer was officially released on August 28, 2014. The idea for the book came when Chocolate the cat crawled on my chest while I prayed. As I rested comfortably under the covers, I could feel Chocolate purring during the prayer. Although this is somewhat of a routine I enjoy with my furry friend, I had never before thought much about it.
Scientists still do not know exactly how or why cats purr. Well, the why is a little more understood than the how. To put it simply, most cats purr when they are happy, but some purr when they are frightened or ill. Many scientists and veterinarians theorize there might be a healing factor to the vibrations resonating inside, but there is still a lot of speculation. We are getting closer to understanding the “how” of purring, but the idea for the Children’s book was more about the why.
As Chocolate continued to purr and I continued to pray, a revelation occurred to me. I recalled the scholar Hugh Ross, of Reasons to Believe, speaking about the creation of “soulish” animals. ” According to the Bible, soulish life includes creatures in which God endowed mind, will, and emotions so that they can form relationships with members of their own species as well as with human beings. God designed soulish animals so that each kind serves and/or pleases humanity in its own distinct way. The Bible claims that before humans even existed soulish animals were preprogrammed by God to relate to and to serve and please human beings.” *
I thought, if certain types of animals were created to be relational to humans, is it possible that they also have some capacity to relate to their creator, just like we do? I realize this seems farfetched, but stay on the ride with me a little longer. I’m not making any theological claims here, I’m simply pondering the possibilities. If my cat purrs when she is happy, purrs to help heal herself, or lower her anxiety, could this possibly be a form of prayer to her Creator?
When I pray, it makes me joyful, less fearful, more confident, and I also believe it can lead to healing, if God so wills it. Humans use words and thoughts when praying for these things. A cat purrs (arguably a form of communication) and receives the same results. My theory is that, yes, there is perhaps a possibility that purring could actually be a form of prayer or praise from a cat to God; A way of saying “Thank You, I’m happy and I’m letting you know it,” or “I’m not feeling so well right now and I need your help.”
In Charlie and Chocolates’ Purrfect Prayer, a little boy learns important lessons about family, God, and the possibility that God’s furry creations are more special than what we might initially consider. Reading the book to kids is not a Bible lesson, but it could present an opportunity to share with children our ideas of prayer and our relationships with these “soulish” creatures God gave us to interact with.
The intention was not to create a mini-apologetic picture book for kids, but the possibility for discussion and enlightenment exist within the story and pictures. That’s a good thing. But regardless of one’s opinion on “soulish” animals, prayer, and God, Charlie and Chocolate’s Purrfect Prayer is a feel good story with beautiful illustrations that will hopefully warm the heart of the child in each of us.
Please click on the following links for additional information:
*Hugh Ross: Origin of Soulish Animals: Reasons to Believe
Everyday Mysteries: Why do Cats Purr
Charlie and Chocolate’s Purrfect Prayer: Amazon
Charlie and Chocolate’s Purrfect Prayer: Official Facebook page