Breaking the Cone of Silence

The Cone of Silence

Cone of Silence

OK, I know that clip from Get Smart (1960) dates me.  But keep reading because God gave me a vision about a cone of silence.

Jasmine is a petite, dark-eyed ex-Muslim, originally from North Africa.  Three years ago, her family moved to southern Italy, to her mother’s hometown.  That is where she became friends with a Christian girl who brought her to church and eventually led her to Jesus when she was nineteen.  Her mother, an Italian former Catholic, had her suspicions about Jasmine, but remained silent.

There was a Christian song that Jasmine loved.  She listened to it over and over, drawing strength and comfort from it.  One day she fell asleep listening to the song.  Her brother heard it and told their father.  First her father raged at her, then he tried to kill her.  She ran to the police station and filed a report against him.  The police did nothing.

Murder is against the law in Italy, but in the south there is a long history of honor killings that predates the influx of Muslims from the shores of North Africa.  Mostly that has to do with men being cuckolded or just jealous, whether their wives were unfaithful or not.  The laws had long been on the side of the men doing the killings, rather than protecting the women.  It is possible that in her city this was still considered a “family dispute,” and therefore the police were reluctant to interfere while it was only a threat.

Jasmine’s brother also tried to kill her.  She filed a report against him, too.  Again the police did nothing.  When her brother tried to kill her a second time, Jasmine stood her ground and faced him, though he stood head and shoulders taller than her.  She said, “If you’re going to kill me, just go ahead and kill me.  I’m already dead.”  To her amazement he dropped the knife and walked out of the room muttering curses.

Her father then told Jasmine that she is no longer his daughter and threw her out of the house with only the clothes on her back.  Her pastor got her into a local safe house, then helped her to find sponsors in northern Italy.

For the past three years, Jasmine has lived in a small town in rural Lombardy[1].  There she met her boyfriend, Sammy.  Sammy is also from North Africa, though a different country.  He owns a pizza parlor in my neighborhood here in Milan—one that I have used many times because it is owned by a Christian.  Her boyfriend told her that she can come to Milan to find work, staying in his pizzeria until she has saved enough money to get her own apartment.

Since work is very hard to find in the rural areas, Jasmine jumped at the chance.  She found work right away at a hotel near the pizzeria, but feels even more isolated in the big city than she did in her small town of refuge.  Besides Sammy and colleagues at work, she didn’t know anybody here.  Sammy took her to his church once, but since he works on Sunday, he hasn’t taken her again.  Jasmine can’t go by herself because she doesn’t know her way around town.

In a meeting that only God, Himself, could set up, I met Jasmine a few days ago.  She asked me to take her to MiHOP, the Milan House of Prayer.  One Friday each month they have a night of prayer for Israel.  Jasmine had heard about it and wanted to go, but doesn’t know how to get there.  We agreed to meet early Friday afternoon when she got off work.  I went to the pizzeria and brought her to my house where we could talk.

Jasmine told me her story about coming to faith and the murderous attempts by her father and brother.  It came out in short bursts, followed by long silences.  Often she looked like a little girl as she told her story of hatred and hardship.  Due to my history of abuse, I have often found safety in silence, so we passed many minutes together in silence.

The voices in the kitchen reminded me that I had missionaries using my house as a place to meet for lunch.  They were just finishing their meal, so I took Jasmine to meet them.  These were some of my friends from Missione REM, who have the buses.  She told them her story, and they invited her to come see the bus.  She eagerly accepted, leaving with them a few minutes later.  I told her that I would come pick her up later to go to MiHOP.

When I arrived at the bus, my friends pointed her out where she was standing on the sidewalk, speaking earnestly with a young Arab man in Arabic.  Donna di fuoco (fiery woman) they called her.  It was obvious that she had lost her timidity and found her passion there at the bus.  When I told her that it was time to go, she wrapped things up with the man, asking if she could pray for him.  He said that she could pray for him, but that he wasn’t going to pray to her God (he was Muslim).

The next day Jasmine sent me a message, asking if I would come meet with her.  I went to the pizzeria and brought her back to my house.  She said that she wanted prayer for Sammy.  She wanted to know if God intended them to be together.

I pointed out that the fact that she has doubts could be an indicator.  But I asked for more details.  She said that at their first meeting, Sammy had been sweet and attentive, and that on the phone he’s very sweet and attentive.  But in person he was like another person: he would clam-up, busy himself, or laugh and talk with his employees like she wasn’t even in the room.  She said she has hardly gotten two words out of him in the last week.  I said that it’s likely only to get worse after marriage.  She agreed.

So we prayed.  While praying I saw a vision of a thick glass dome being lowered over Jasmine.  I asked the Lord what it means.  He said that when they tried to kill her, her father and brother put Jasmine under a cone of silence.  They had tried to silence her permanently, and in part they succeeded in silencing her voice.  Now I understood why Jasmine and I had passed so many minutes in silence.  She sort of carries this silence wherever she goes.  I prayed for a holy glass hammer to break the cone of silence, but the Lord stopped me and said that Jasmine is the only one who can break it.  Then I got another vision of Jasmine opening her mouth and singing a loud, glass-shattering note.  As I began to tell Jasmine about the two visions, the Holy Spirit gave one more instruction: Jasmine can break the cone of silence by speaking up to Sammy about how she feels.  It’s the only way to break it.

I know that Jasmine is capable of speaking her mind.  I saw it by the bus with the Arab man.  I am still waiting to hear follow-up news, but make-up or break-up, it’s got to be better than what she’s been going though.  God is good!

[1] The region Milan is in.

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