You could break it at any point and it would still say ‘Brighton’. This is a great picture of integrity you can use with your mentee. Does their life say the same thing if you break into it at any point? Ask them: “If you were a stick of rock, what one word (good or bad) would be written through you? What word would you prefer it to say?”
It’s not always that easy, of course. There are different aspects, complexities, paradoxes and contradictions to us all. That’s what being human is like. You would expect to speak to the Queen differently from the way you speak to your mates, but would you still say no to doing wrong whether it was the Queen or a friend who asked?
We allow different people to access different depths of us. Our personality, our motivations, our needs and insecurities; even our online profiles have levels of access.
If you can get hold of a set of Russian dolls, bring them to your mentoring session. These wooden dolls fit inside each other and provide a great visual aid for several things you might want to discuss with your mentee.
General: ask how these dolls might be a metaphor for their life. By not giving any initial framework to the conversation, allow them to speak about whatever they like. This could be a great indicator of what issues they feel they are facing, or what has been playing on their mind recently.
Witness: keep the dolls in order, but this time say the smallest represents the deepest level of relationship they have and the biggest represents someone they have only just met. At which stage do most people find out about their faith? How does that tend to happen? Would they rather it happened at a different stage?
Vulnerability: with the dolls inside each other, ask your mentee to take them out one by one and describe what the layers represent about themselves. The spectrum should cover to their most superficial outward façade, their ‘comfortable self’ that most people see, to the trust stage where they might allow someone to see more, to the smallest doll: the part only God sees. Are there things in the smallest doll that they need to get out and discuss with someone?