Yes, Penelope, There Is A Judge

It may be one of my favorite pictures of all time. It’s certainly the most honest.

Let me clarify…

Penelope Soto was in court on drug possession charges. You can tell from the video (posted below) that she is taking her appearance in court anything but seriously. When asked how much money she makes, she replies “about 200 bucks a week.” When asked if she has anything of legitimate value (e.g., a house, car, jewelry), inexplicably, she says “yes.” When asked to clarify she says she “own[s] a lot of jewelry, all right.” When the judge asks for clarification regarding her jewelry’s worth, she says “it’s worth a lot of money… like Rick Rolls.” (Now, either this girl has no idea what a “rick roll” is, or there is an entire generation of clubbidiots who have appropriated the name of one of the greatest bait-and-switch jokes in internet history as their new slang for “a lot of money.”)

The Public Defender, to his credit, offers to take the girl on, but the judge sagely points out that, if she has all of this expensive jewelry, she can sell it and hire her own defender. She is initially fined $5,000. She coyly bids the judge “adios”, and, with a smile on her face, turns to leave. As she’s walking away, the judge laughs… but then calls her back. What happens next is just… I have…. “no words… they should have sent a poet.”

The judge takes back the paper and changes the fine for Count 1 (there were multiple counts) to $10,000. And then… this… glorious thing happened.

Yes, Penelope… There are consequences for your actions.

Just look at her face! She pleads with the judge, as innocently as she can, “Are you serious?”

And that awesome arbiter of justice responded, “I am serious. Adios!”

In a world where teenagers weren’t habitually spoiled and coddled from the ramifications of their words and actions, this would be the end of this story. But, luckily for all of us, it isn’t.

Penelope, turns to leave, gives the judge the finger and says something that contained the f-bomb. And, like a boss, he calls her back. The courtroom expresses it’s shock as she begins to lose her playful demeanor.

The judge, channeling his inner “Tony Montana” asks for clarification as to what exactly she just said. He then finds her in direct criminal contempt, and sentences her to the fine PLUS thirty days in county.

And, in case you’re interested, here’s the full video.

Why am I talking about this HERE?

Well, partly, because I can. Partly because I love justice. Partly because we need to pray for Penelope Soto and Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat.

But mostly to say this: We must remember that our actions, even just the words we speak, have consequences.  In Number 32:23b we read:

…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

The point here is that sin always, always, ALWAYS has consequences, and there is no escaping that. More importantly, sin is progressive. Look at what happened with Penelope. She was in court on charges of drug possession. Xanax Bars, they’re called. In the great scheme of things, probably not that big a deal (that is not an endorsement of drugs, ok,? Don’t start. I’m talking BIG PICTURE.). But she had allowed her involvement in that culture to affect her thinking and decision making processes.

What was, initially, a slap on the wrist, became a huge financial burden accompanied by a prison sentence.

Yes, there are consequences. And, ultimately, there are eternal consequences.

Our great blessing is that there is One who bore our eternal consequences for us.

Yes, that screen cap is a great picture. It makes me smile. The video made me laugh.

But it also makes me terribly sad. There are so many who are so hopelessly lost.

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? – Romans 10:13-14

We are the ones sent to them. Quick, do an exercise… Find a map of your city. Put a pushpin on your house. Find the legend. Draw a circle around your house that has an equivalent 5 mile radius. That’s your mission field.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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