cover of We All Have a Purpose for Being Here



Transformative Power of Prayer

We All Have a Purpose for Being Here © 2007 by Jean Hendrickson

© 2007 Beth Helstien

Jean Hendrickson’s We All Have a Purpose for Being Here came to me in a usual way, but it isn’t a usual book.  Richard Walker, the editor of the Journal of the San Juans, and I get together periodically to exchange volumes authors eager for a review of their books send to him.  Many of these books won’t ever be reviewed in the Journal, although many of the books do end up in the San Juan Island Library. 

The criteria for me to write a book review are that the book be by a San Juan County author, be about the San Juan Islands or a San Juan islands person, or be set in the San Juans.  It’s a small portion of the thousands of books published annually and the millions that have been written that will ever qualify for this column.

Jean’s memoir meets the criteria of local authorship and being about a local.  Much of the last part of the book is set in the San Juans. 

Jean Hendrickson is writing about her personal journey from main-stream Mid-West Christian to a non-denominational spiritual healer and leader.  Some might find her ideas easy to attack. It is hard to talk about prayer in public these days, especially if it isn’t Christian prayer.

Her journey initially takes her down a path of dedication to human rights and freedom to greater and greater degrees of spiritual practice. I was particularly interested in her experience in group housing. (I once counted that I had had over 50 different housemates over the years). Jean’s “career” ended with her work as a wedding officiant on San Juan Island. Since my own “career” path is very similar to Jean’s, beginning as environmental activist and becoming ordained to officiate at weddings in 1998, I found Jean’s life very interesting. 

This well-written book is self-published.  The frequent errors that plague many self-published books were absent from this one. The amateur photographs and illustrations are perfectly appropriate to a memoir for general readership.

I read We all Have a Purpose for Being Here at a time of personal crisis when my sister was near death, and the prayers in this book and Jean’s prayerful orientation to daily life were very helpful to me. Some of what Jean believes is too weird for me. (Channeled spirits and Yellowstone’s need for energy balancing challenged my limits.) Nevertheless, I was deeply moved, reminded to make prayer a habit in my life. The book came to me, dare I say, at the right time and with a purpose.

We all Have a Purpose for Being Here, like all books reviewed here, may be found at the San Juan Island Library.

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