I’ve decided to do my next illustrations on the Prodigal Son, but I’ve always felt a little more like the Prodigal Son’s Brother. Who doesn’t feel “no good deed goes unpunished?” I think people misunderstand why the Brother was upset. It wasn’t because someone was given grace and forgiveness when it was needed, it was because he knew that his brother was raised in the same good house, rejected it, fell away, had experiences that he regretted, but was still able to return to that house and be treated as if his return were more important than remaining faithful the entire time. While the Brother gets the house, the Prodigal still gets the benefits of the household. The brother doesn’t think that is fair, and it’s not really fair if you think about it, but that’s the point. It’s like Marcus from Babylon 5 says:
I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?’ So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.