I recently had a conversation with a friend who was doing research on issues surrounding disability ministry. In the midst of the conversation he asked, "Do you think that disability is the result of the fall of man?' Well, he knows who I am. I am not a theologian or pastor, but just a person who reads his Bible and thinks a lot about disability issues. So on some level I am not sure what kind of a response he was expecting. But as I thought about it I responded in the only way I could think of.
"It doesn't matter" I replied.
That isn't the response a theologian wants. And sure, on many levels it is important to try to understand deep things. However, in terms of whether or not there is disability is a result of the fall of man, makes absolutely no difference relative to the way I interact with people with disabilities in my life. Obviously there are things that people have experienced resulting in disability that are very important to understand in order to come alongside of them to support them. Whether it is violence, disease or some form of emotional abuse, I want to be sensitive to a person's history. But it doesn't matter to me whether or not Adam's sin caused disability or didn't. His sin definitely led to the sinful world we all live in. My response to that is to ask, "How can I be made right with God?"
I do have an answer to that question. Romans 3:22 says, "We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ and this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are." This is the bigger answer that we need to have. This is also what we need to help everyone to understand, "no matter who we are."